Daventry district catering business setting the gold standard for healthy eating

From left Servest General Manager Mark Hawkins, DDC's Senior Environmental Officer Simon Watson, Chef Manager Danny Hayter, Eat Out Eat Well Volunteer Auditor Kathy Day, Chef Manager John McGowan and DDC's Health and Housing Portfolio Holder Cllr Mike Warren in the canteen at the Tesco Distribution Centre at DIRFT.
From left Servest General Manager Mark Hawkins, DDC's Senior Environmental Officer Simon Watson, Chef Manager Danny Hayter, Eat Out Eat Well Volunteer Auditor Kathy Day, Chef Manager John McGowan and DDC's Health and Housing Portfolio Holder Cllr Mike Warren in the canteen at the Tesco Distribution Centre at DIRFT.

Thousands of workers at a distribution centre in Daventry District are eating healthier meals at work after a contract caterer achieved gold in the Eat Out Eat Well award scheme.

Servest, which serves about 2,000 meals every 24 hours across three Tesco distribution sites at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT), became the first such firm in the district to achieve the gold standard since the scheme launched in May.

The award recognises the catering firm’s ongoing commitment to offering healthy options on its menus. This includes keeping levels of fat, salt and sugar to a minimum, making fruit and vegetables clearly available, and having a promotion and marketing strategy that supports healthy eating.

Servest achieved gold awards at each of the three Tesco sites it caters for at DIRFT after working with Daventry District Council (DDC) to put together its new menu.

Although the caterer already offered a healthy menu, specially-trained officers from the Council were able to make suggestions to cut the levels of salt or sugar in certain dishes to help them further improve and achieve the gold standard.

“It’s all about making little changes,” said Councillor Mike Warren, Health and Housing Porfolio Holder on Daventry District Council.

“Removing a pinch of salt here and there may not sound like a lot but when you’re talking about 2,000 or so meals a day it adds up to a lot. The Eat Out Eat Well scheme is all about making subtle changes, whether that be using different cooking practices, or using spices rather than salt to add flavour, and we’re keen to work with businesses across Daventry District to improve their menus.”

The Eat Out Eat Well scheme is managed by Environmental Health Northamptonshire, through the County Food Liaison Group and co-ordinated by Environmental Health Teams at District and Borough Councils. It has three levels of awards - bronze, silver and gold – and is open to any business serving food to the general public.

Seven catering businesses across Daventry District have now achieved the gold standard, with catering firms Catermasters and Eurest also recently matching Servest by achieving gold awards at their sites at DIRFT.

Mark Hawkins, General Manager for Servest at Tesco Distribution Centre Daventry, said: “We’re delighted to be the first contract caterer to be awarded gold certificates for the Eat Out Eat Well scheme. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Tesco, Daventry District Council and Environmental Health Northamptonshire to help people to make healthier food choices.

“Like the principles that we have adopted, the menu has been well received by both customers and our clients on site. To be able to offer good food and support a healthier cooking method gives everyone a choice and supports a healthier lifestyle.”

Cllr Warren added: “The catering firms operating at DIRFT feed thousands of hungry workers in our district each day so it’s fantastic to see their commitment to healthy eating. In partnership with this Council they are making a great contribution to the health and wellbeing of people living and working in our district.

“Receiving an Eat Out Eat Well award shows you are a responsible business that puts its customers first and I would urge all caterers to contact us to find out more.”

Food businesses in Daventry District interested in achieving an Eat Out Eat Well award should contact the Council’s Health Improvement Team on 01327 871100.

For more information visit www.daventrydc.gov.uk/EatOutEatWell