Islington commits to promoting healthier catering
The London Healthier Catering Commitment (HCC) which was launched in March 2012 and devised by the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health, working with NHS London. It outlines important steps that caterers can take to make their food healthier.
These steps include healthier cooking methods, using unsaturated fats, serving salad and fruit and offering water, diet drinks and fruit juice in the place of fizzy drinks.
The scheme is being piloted across 20 Boroughs in London by catering businesses, working in partnership with environmental health and public health teams. The map of London below shows which boroughs have already adopted a Healthier Catering Commitment and are working to improve the nutritional value of food for their residents. Click on the map to find out more.
Islington council has actively promoted the Healthier Catering commitment to mobile caterers such as burger vans operating at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal football club. This approach is a response to concern about high rates of obesity and heart disease in the borough, and the effects on well-being and life expectancy, especially amongst men aged over 45. Of course, men make up a large proportion of football match goers, hence Islington Council's interest in working in and around the premier football stadium in the borough!
In January 2012, Islington publicised a half-day session on the Healthier Catering Commitment to all their pitch licensed food stall holders. Seven caterers attended the session and three went on to apply for and attain Healthier Catering Commitment status within ten days. All three are mobile burger vans that trade on match days in Drayton Park at the rear of the Emirates Stadium. Having improved their food and cooking methods along the Healthier Catering Commitment guidelines, they now:
- Offer salad
- Griddle most things rather than frying
- Only use vegetable oil to deep-fry chips
- Are careful to fry at the correct temperature
- Always "Shake, Bang, Hang" chips before serving, to reduce the fat content
- Promote water and low sugar drinks
- Use ‘low-salt’ salt shakers
- Offer and advertise smaller portion sizes
Islington Council will be running a similar event in May 2012 for their private land licensed mobile vendors, several who have already expressed an interest. They will also be talking to Emirates Stadium management regarding the Healthy Catering Commitment. Potentially, European Healthy Stadia may also consider adopting the principles. This is a support network for stadiums wishing to become more socially and environmental responsible and promote healthier lifestyles to their staff, customers and local community.
Find out more about the Healthier Catering Commitment at: www.cieh.org/healthier-catering-commitment.html
Read about Islington Council's work on their food strategy and healthy eating.
Find out more about the European Healthy Stadia Network at: www.healthystadia.eu.