ISS Education retains Food for Life Gold Catering Mark in Merton

15/01/2014 - 15:07
Pupils at schools in the London Borough of Merton enjoyed Food for Life Gold Catering Mark accredited Christmas dinners in their school dining halls during the run up to Christmas last month.

The borough’s catering provider ISS Facility Services Education has been re-awarded the Soil Association’s Food for Life Gold Catering Mark for the menus they serve to 47 of the borough’s schools.

Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “Giving our children a quality education and a positive school experience is our priority and a big part of that is excellence in catering.

“Good food in schools has a positive impact on children’s performance in the classroom and, therefore plays a big part in their schooling.”

Mark Davies, divisional director for ISS FS Education said: “We are delighted to have been re-awarded the Gold Food for Life Catering Mark for the schools we serve in the London Borough of Merton.

“Not only does the catering mark show that what’s on the menu is fresh and healthy, but it also supports the schools with their own healthy eating initiatives.

“Some of the Merton schools are part of the Food for Life Partnership and have developed a fantastic food culture. We are really excited to see them develop and to support others who are interested in joining the scheme in 2014.”

The Food for Life Catering Mark is the Soil Association’s independent endorsement that food providers are taking steps to improve the food they serve, using fresh ingredients which are free from undesirable additives and are better for animal welfare.

Catering Mark holders are audited annually to ensure they continue to meet high standards of provenance and traceability.

ISS FS Education, in partnership with London Borough of Merton council, first achieved the Bronze Catering Mark in the borough in 2009, and moved up through Silver to reach Gold in 2012.

To meet the Gold standard they cook almost everything from scratch, buy fish accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council, include a selection of free range and organic products on the menu and make the most of seasonal and local produce.

Over 6,500 school meals are served every day in the London Borough of Merton. The borough’s food standards are the highest in London, along with the London Borough of Islington, according to the Good Food for London 2013 report.

The report considers how local authorities support good food initiatives, such as community food growing, high quality school food and helping local food outlets to serve healthier food. This title follows the London Borough of Merton being named the Most Improved Good Food Borough the previous year.

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