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SFT hits out at unhealthy food served at visitor attractions

23 August 2010
SFT hits out at unhealthy food served at visitor attractions

Government quango the School Food Trust has turned its attentions to the fare served at Britain's visitor attractions and has written to museums, zoos and theme parks to complain about the food they offer.

Rob Rees (pictured), chairman of the SFT, said in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph that parents were having to put up with too many fatty, unhealthy dishes and called for more "home-made" cooking to be offered, along with more fruit and salad.

"Some (attractions) just have food that is very heavily saturated, and quite pricey too. Very heavily processed burgers, pizzas that leave you wondering what the toppings even are," he added.

"I'm not saying we need standards and legislation. Just that we should have nice home-made cooking and things like fruit salad served as the norm. It shouldn't be a bolt-on for attractions - it should be a core part of the attraction.

"If they get it right, more people will go there."

However attraction owners have argued that they serve food that is appropriate for treats on a day out.

Sally Ann Wilkinson, head of corporate affairs at Merlin Entertainment, which counts Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds among its portfolio, said: "A lot of families, even if they have quite clear rules at home, are happy to break those rules on a day out.

"Our view is it's about choice - it's not for us to dictate the nation's diet. That's for schools and other places where children go every day," she added.

She said that only half of children took up the offer of free salad with their meals.

The trust has posted a pro-forma letter on its website, which can be downloaded by parents who are unsatisfied by the food available at visitor attractions.

The SFT, which was originally intended to improve school food, had its budget slashed by £1m in May as part of the first wave of Government spending cuts.

Healthy eating guide launched for secondary school pupils >>

School meals turn the corner >>

More than 4,000 sign petition for School Meals Matter >>

By Janie Stamford

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