School caterers demand clarification on nutrient guidelines

28 November 2007 by
School caterers demand clarification on nutrient guidelines

A group of school caterers have written to the head of the School Food Trust (SFT) demanding clarification of the "confusing" nutrient based school dinner guidelines.

Nutrient based guidelines are set to overlay the current food based guidelines at schools in England from next year at primary level and September 2009 at secondary schools.

A group of local authority caterers from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Northamptonshire have written to SFT chairman Prue Leith arguing that the situation around secondary schools and the new standards remains complex and confusing.

In the letter the caterers say: "We are spending an enormous amount of time crunching numbers and wonder if the bigger picture has been lost?

"The bigger picture is the provision of healthy and nutritious school meals as part of a ‘whole school approach' to improve the nutritional wellbeing of today's school-age children."

Concern centres on whether the guidelines apply to individual meals or everything available at lunch times, and if drinks served should be included in this.

The caterers are concerned about minimum mineral and vitamin levels and how achievable and appropriate they are, as well as the different nutritional needs of pupils at same sex schools will be addressed.

The caterers, which are all using the Saffron Nutrition nutritional analysis system to meet the requirements, also have concerns over monitoring of the new standards and the situation regarding self-managed schools.

At the start of the month Jamie Oliver slammed the Government for failing to support the reform of school meals he helped to kick off.

Network of training centres launched to support school cooks >>

Crisis in school kitchens? >>

School dinner round-up >>

School Food Trust website >>
Prue Leith named as new chair of the School Food Trust >>
Jamie Oliver-style (The Caterer Blog) >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Chris Druce]( caterers demand clarification on nutrient guidelines) here.

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