The Food Standards Agency (FSA) today unveiled a six-month progress report on the joint commitment of the big five contract caterers to provide healthier workplace meals.
In January, Aramark, BaxterStorey, Compass Group, Elior and Sodexo, along with suppliers Brakes and 3663, signed a commitment to provide healthier meals.
The Agency said the commitments "have had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million meals served in workplaces every day".
Examples of progress include:
- developing new recipes for popular dishes to use ingredients lower in fat, salt and sugar;
- increasing training for chefs and kitchen staff on healthy cooking techniques;
- offering customers more information on the nutritional content of food and promoting healthy eating messages;
- extending the number of workplaces in which healthy eating programmes are operating;
- continuing reformulation by suppliers to reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar that popular products contain.
The companies have now set themselves further targets, which include:
- increasing the number of staff trained;
- introducing a greater number of healthier recipes available to chefs;
- building on reformulation activity;
- continuing to review ingredients and introducing new customer awareness and promotion work.
In July, the FSA published similar commitments from a further six workplace caterers - Accent Catering, Artizian, Autograph (part of Rentokil Initial), Charlton House, ISS Eaton and ISS Mediclean. They will report on their progress in February 2009.
The FSA is still in talks with pub groups, casual dining operators and coffee shop chains to sign a similar commitment to provide healthier menus for customers, as revealed by Caterer in May.
The Agency expects to make an announcement on the companies involved later this year or early 2009.
By Daniel Thomas
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