Next month revised standards for school lunches, as well as standards for non-lunch food provision, are to be introduced.
In September 2006, the government introduced standards of food for school lunches and the School Food Trust was established to assist in their implementation. Next month revised standards for school lunches, as well as standards for non-lunch food provision, are to be introduced.
The school lunch standards state that red meat, ie beef, lamb or pork, must be included at least 3 times a week in secondary schools and at least twice a week in primary schools. Pork products, such as ham and bacon and dishes made from these meats, also count as red meat. However, meat products, as specified below, are restricted and the standards on this group of foods have been revised. Whether manufactured or home made, meat products have been put into four groups and a product from each group is only allowed once a fortnight. These meat products must also meet the minimum meat content levels specified in the Meat Products (England) Regulations 2003. The groups are as follows:
Group 1 – burger, hamburger, chopped meat, corned meat
Group 2 – sausage, sausage meat, link, chipolata, luncheon meat
Group 3 – individual meat pie, meat pudding, Melton Mowbray pie, game pie, Scotch pie, pasty, bridie, sausage rolls
Group 4 – any other shaped or coated meat product
“This means that, for example, beef burgers, whether bought-in or homemade, and sausages, regardless of whether they are low-fat, low-salt, or homemade, can only be served once every 2 weeks. This covers sausages served at school lunchtimes, as well as those served at breakfast clubs or morning break-times.” (Meat Trades Journal 03/08/07).
We urge school governors or parents with veggie children to use examples from our Portfolio of nutritionally assessed eating plans to discuss with school caterers.
We are collating information on catering at universities, which could be of special interest to freshers as they arrive next month for their first term.