It’s simple! It is not about changing the type of food you offer, it’s about making small changes to the way you prepare cook and serve it to make a positive difference to your customers health. The scheme asks you to make commitments, some of which are essential and some voluntary so you have some choice about the changes you might want to make, and your food offer. Each business commits to a minimum of 8 of 25 criteria. There are 4 essential criteria for every food business operator;
- Reducing the amount of saturated fat in the food by swapping to a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat or oil such as sunflower, corn or rapeseed oil
- Reducing the amount of salt in the food by allowing customers to add their own salt to their food and not adding salt to water used for cooking vegetables, rice or pasta.
- Reducing the amount of sugar in drinks by offering and promoting water and low sugar drinks.
- Making smaller portions available for children and adults– between ½ or 1/3 of standard size portions.
In addition where premises carry out frying 3 additional essential criteria are required.
Frying essential criteria
- Ensuring that the cooking oil has to be heated to the optimum temperature 175oC
- Ensuring that excess fat is drained from the food before serving
- Ensuring that the oil is properly maintained – skimmed throughout service, topped up and regularly filtered.
The remaining 17 criteria relate to further improvements to the method of meat preparation and cooking, the reduction of fat, salt and sugar in menu choices, increasing the food offer of fruit and vegetables, wholewheat carbohydrates and finally the promotion of the healthy options. The idea that small changes made to the food produced at theses premises can make a positive difference to the customers health and diet.