Food and catering services standards V1.0

Food and catering services overarching commitments

IMPACT AREA OVERARCHING COMMITMENT
Production standards Central Government must source food, subject to no overall increase in costs, meeting UK or equivalent standards of production.
Origin of meat and dairy In line with the industry principles on country of origin information suppliers should be able to indicate the origin of the meat, meat products and dairy products either on the menu or accompanying literature, or at least when the information is requested by the consumer.

Food and catering services standards

IMPACT AREA MANDATORY
Animal welfare All eggs, including fresh in-shell, liquid and powdered eggs, are sourced from systems that do not use conventional cages. If from a caged system, enriched cages must be used.
Animal welfare (pigs) Where buying pork and pork products compliant with UK standards, as set out in the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2007* or equivalent, would lead to an overall increase in costs for the authority, all pork and pork products are to be sourced at minimum from pig production systems that comply with EU requirements.
Seasonal produce Where fresh produce is used, menus are designed to reflect in-season** produce and in-season produce is highlighted on menus.
Fish All fish*** are demonstrably sustainable with all wild-caught fish meeting the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (includes Marine Stewardship Council certification and Marine Conservation Society ‘fish to eat’).
If caterers serve lunch and an evening meal, fish is provided twice a week, one of which is oily. If caterers only serve lunch or an evening meal, an oily fish is available at least once every 3 weeks.
Environmental production standards At least 10% by value of primary commodity (i.e. raw ingredient) food and drink is produced to certified or assured higher level environmental standards (e.g. organic, LEAF ).
Ethical trading At least 50% of tea and coffee is fairly traded
Water Tap water is visible and freely available and such provision is promoted.
Pre-bottled water (mineral or spring) is not included in the hospitality menu.
Reducing Salt Vegetables and boiled starchy foods such as rice, pasta and potatoes, are cooked without salt.
Salt is not available on tables.
At least 50% of meat and meat products, breads, breakfast cereals, soups and cooking sauces, ready meals and pre-packed sandwiches (procured by volume) meet Responsibility Deal salt targets and all stock preparations are lower salt varieties (i.e. below 0.6g/100mls).
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption At least 50% of the volume of desserts available is based on fruit – which can be fresh, canned in fruit juice, dried or frozen.
A portion of fruit is cheaper than a portion of hot or cold dessert.
Meal deals include a starchy carbohydrate, vegetables and 1 portion of fruit.
Reducing Saturated Fat Meat and meat products, biscuits, cakes and pastries (procured by volume) are lower in saturated fat where available. At least 50% of hard yellow cheese has a maximum total fat content of 25g/100g; at least 75% of ready meals contain less than 6g saturated fat per portion; at least 75% of milk is reduced fat; and at least 75% of oils and spreads are based on unsaturated fats.
Cereals At least 50% of breakfast cereals (procured by volume) are higher in fibre (i.e. more than 6g/100g) and do not exceed 12.5g/100g added sugars.
SMEs Provide opportunity for separate contracts for supply and distribution; and advertise all food-related tenders to SMEs.
Reducing Landfill There are facilities available to staff and customers for recycling cans, bottles, cardboard and plastics.
Food waste Any contractor must take steps to minimise food waste in its on-site operation using the guidance provided to help decide what action they will take. Contractors should set out what they will do, and feed back to clients on progress and results.
The procuring authority must check whether a separate food waste collection service can be provided (see guidance on how to do so). If the service can be provided, while achieving value for money, then it should meet the best practice standard.
Energy Management The on-site catering operation is run in accordance with the host building’s overall energy management policy.
Catering equipment The minimum mandatory Government Buying Standards for catering equipment apply where relevant:

  • Domestic refrigerators and freezers – it meets Energy efficiency standard A and meets standards on greenhouse gases.
  • Commercial refrigerators and freezers - it meets the latest Enhanced Capital Allowance criteria and meets standards on GHGs.
  • Covers for refrigerated units it meets the latest Enhanced Capital Allowance criteria
  • Domestic electric ovens – it meets Energy Efficiency standard A, at varying energy efficiency indices depending on cavity size.
  • Domestic dishwashers – it meets Energy Efficiency standard A, at varying energy efficiency indices for overall energy efficiency, drying and cleaning performance.
  • Kitchen taps – have flow rates of not less than 5l/min delivered through either automatic shut off, screw down/lever, or spray taps; and non-flow rate elements shall meet the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (ECA) Water Technology List criteria.
Paper products The minimum mandatory Government Buying Standards for paper products apply where relevant:

  • Tissue paper (for example kitchen and toilet tissue and hand towels) must have 100% recycled content, to include only genuine recovered fibre (i.e. no ‘mill broke’), in accordance with NAPM definition
Palm oil From the end of 2015 all palm oil (including palm kernel oil and products derived from palm oil) used for cooking and as an ingredient in food must be sustainably produced.

* This criterion should be included as a contract performance condition. UK standards are as required by the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2007 (separate versions apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), and EU standards are defined by Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.
The GBS still requires pigmeat to be procured to UK standards if there is no overall increase in cost.
** Fresh produce that is outdoor grown or produced during the natural growing or production period for the country or region where it is produced. It need not necessarily be grown or produced locally to where it is consumed and this applies to seasonal food from both the UK and overseas.
*** Fish includes all fish including where it is an ingredient in a composite product.

IMPACT AREA BEST PRACTICE
Environmental production standards At least 20% of primary commodity (i.e. raw ingredient) food and drink procured is produced to certified or assured higher level environmental standards (organic, LEAF or equivalent).
Ethical trading All tea, coffee, cocoa and bananas is certified as fairly traded.
Snacks Savoury snacks are only available in packet sizes of 35g or less.
Confectionery and packet sweet snacks are in the smallest standard single serve portion size available within the market.
Reducing Sugar All sugar containing drinks are available in no more than a 330ml portion size (excluding hot drinks).
Menu analysis Menu cycles are analysed to meet stated nutrient based standards relevant to the major population subgroup of the catering provision.
Calorie and allergen labelling Menus (for food and beverages) include calorie and allergen labelling.
Packaging waste Packaging waste in delivering food for the catering service is minimised so that:
i. tertiary and secondary packaging consists of at least 70% recycled cardboard; and
ii. where other materials are used, the tertiary packaging must either be reusable or all materials contain some recycled content.
Food waste Any contractor has a food waste minimisation plan in place, including actions and estimated quantifiable reductions, and ensures appropriate training is given to staff to ensure best practice in terms of food waste minimisation.
An appropriately-licensed separate food waste collection service should be procured as part of overall site waste management (with the food waste collected going either for treatment at an in-vessel composting or anaerobic digestion facility or other suitable facility (as opposed to landfill).
Energy efficiency The on-site catering operation is run in accordance with the Carbon Trust food preparation and sector guide (CTV035).
Waste minimisation Food and drink to be consumed in restaurants and canteens must be served using cutlery, glassware, and crockery which are reusable and washable.
Environmental Management Systems The contractor must prove its technical and professional capability to perform the environmental aspects of the contract through: an environmental management system (EMS) for catering services (such as EMAS, ISO 14001or equivalent).
Catering equipment The best practice Government Buying Standards for catering equipment apply where relevant:

Paper products The best practice Government Buying Standards for paper products apply where relevant:

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Page last modified: 13 November, 2013