Environmental Health Teams from Antrim and Newtownabbey, Mid and East Antrim, Mid Ulster and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Councils are celebrating being ‘Calorie Wise’.
Along with the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSA)the local authority teams were delighted to see their efforts come to fruition when the Northern Health and Social Care Trust was recently awarded the Calorie Wise award.
Delivered in partnership by the FSA and local councils, Calorie Wise is a free and voluntary scheme which encourages food businesses to display calorie information clearly and prominently on their menu, enabling customers to make informed food choices when eating out and on the go.
As the first Trust in Northern Ireland to have introduced the Calorie Wise scheme to its catering facilities at Antrim Area, Whiteabbey, Holywell, Mid-Ulster, Braid Valley and Causeway Hospitals, their voluntary commitment serves as proof of the Trusts ongoing dedication to the health and well-being of its staff, visitors and patients.
The innovative scheme hopes to meet the growing demand for calorie labelling as noted in the FSA’s Food & You survey (2016) which highlights that 78% of people in Northern Ireland would like to see healthier options when eating out. Calorie labelling recently became a legal requirement in the USA for food businesses with 20 or more outlets but it is not a legal requirement in the UK.
At a recent ceremony, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael presented the awards to the Catering Managers from each of the northern hospital sites on behalf of the four Councils. He said: “Calorie Wise asks businesses to make a voluntary commitment, where they must adhere to the four principles which are outlined in the technical guidance. A lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to get to where we are today and I would like to thank the Environmental Health teams from the councils who have been instrumental in the delivery of this project and carried out extensive audits across each of the hospital sites, providing a level of robustness to the scheme. As well as ensuring the displayed information is accurate and presented in a consistent manner, Environmental Health Officers were able to provide the facilities with much support and guidance and will continue this support as the scheme progresses.”
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