The Catering Mark is an independent endorsement backed by annual inspections awarding and recognising food providers who take steps to raise standards and improve the food they serve.
The Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark focuses on removing harmful additives, trans fats and GM from the menu while ensuring that the majority of food on the menu is prepared freshly on site. It also encourages schools to use seasonal and local produce, and only use sustainable sources of fish and free range eggs. The food should be free from undesirable additives and trans fats and comply with national nutrition standards.
To achieve Bronze the following criteria must be met:
- at least 75% of dishes are freshly prepared on site or export kitchen from unprocessed ingredients
- all meat is from farms which satisfy UK animal welfare standards
- no fish served from the Marine Conservation Society 'fish to avoid' list
- eggs are from free range hens
- no undesirable additives or artificial trans fats are used
- no genetically modified ingredients are used
- free drinking water is prominently available
- menus are seasonal and in-season produce is highlighted
- information is on display about food provenance
- menus provide for all dietary and cultural needs
- all suppliers have been verified to ensure they apply appropriate food safety standards
- catering staff are supported with skills training in fresh food preparation and the Catering Mark
To gain Silver or Gold you must already have Bronze, and demonstrate that you meet the criteria before you can apply. There's also a points system and a greater spend on organic items must be made.
You can be assured that your child is eating a healthy, freshly prepared nutritious meal, which meets the School Food Standards and also has the Food for Life Catering Mark.