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More success for kitchen staff at Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital

03 Jan More success for kitchen staff at Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital

Kitchen staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) are celebrating after receiving nutrition qualifications as part of the TuckIN project.

Harlow Council’s Environmental Health Team have been working with other councils across Essex on the TuckIN initiative to increase availability of healthier food choices by helping local businesses to make simple but significant changes to their food and drink offering. The project was launched in 2015 and is available to businesses which are not part of national chains and have achieved a food hygiene rating of 3 or higher.

Businesses pledge to make changes which will include some or all of the following:

Reducing salt
Reducing sugar
Use alternative oils with less saturated fat
Reduce portion sizes or offer alternative options
Offering alternatives to sugary drinks
Offering salad and fresh fruit options

Harlow currently has 15 food premises signed up to the project and officers are continuing to work with local businesses to increase this number.

The Council has been working with the catering team at PAH for around 18 months and has seen a great improvement in catering standards and food offering.

At its latest food hygiene inspection on 7 June 2018 the hospital received a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 (Very Good). This is down to a fundamental shift in back-to-basics catering provision, using local produce where possible to freshly prepare dishes for both the ward catering and the staff and public restaurant. The restaurant now includes a wide variety of healthy options with appropriate portion sizes including superfood salads, water, and lower calorie (but still tasty) snacks.

The restaurant kitchen has also been completely refurbished to enable it to run more efficiently and give staff the tools to properly create fresh, tasty food.

Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT) recently signed up to the TuckIN pledge and two of the chefs, Claire Bishop and Suzanne Spiller, successfully completed the Level 2 Nutrition Course offered as part of the project. Their qualification certificates were presented to them by Harlow Council’s Environment and Licensing Manager, Michael Pitt.