Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals' food wins Silver catering mark
SOUTHMEAD and Frenchay hospitals are the first in the country to be given a special catering mark from the Soil Association for the quality of meals it prepares for patients.
They are the only hospitals in the UK to have received the silver Food for Life catering mark from the Bristol-based charity that campaigns for better food standards.
North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), which runs the hospitals, has received the recognition for its commitment to obtaining Farm Assured meat, free range eggs and fish from sustainable stocks, provided by local suppliers.
The trust said the way it sources its ingredients means that all meat is traceable back to the local farm it came from and can confirm there is no horse meat or traces of horse DNA in any of its food.
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Each day 2,500 patient meals are made by the trust’s chefs, with most of the ingredients sourced locally, which 93 per cent of people voted as good or excellent following a hospital stay.
They obtain 100 per cent organic mince beef from St Werburgh’s butcher John Sheppard, ice-cream from nearby Marshfield Farm, bread and cakes from a bakery in Yatton, fish from a supplier in St Philip’s, milk from Wellington and ham and cheese from Somerset.
The trust said as the Food for Life Catering Mark is the UK’s only independent accreditation scheme that sets the standards of tracing food, its quality and provenance for public sector meals and inspecting caterers, all meat has to fulfil the requirements for UK Assured Food Standards (AFS).
Simon Wood, director of Facilities at NBT, said: “The most important factor about the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association is that it provides assurance to our patients that their meals will be of the highest quality and that we know exactly what is in their food and where it comes from.
“Ensuring that fresh, local and quality food is the focus of our menus is so important in nutritional terms for the well-being and recovery of patients while they are with us in hospital.
“To gain this accreditation our processes and menus have been through strict audits by the Soil Association so we are really proud to have gained the Silver Food for Life catering mark.
“It is such a fantastic achievement to be the only hospital trust serving Silver Food for Life accredited meals to patients.
“The cost to the Trust of this approach has been minimal and in some cases we have saved money by switching to a local supplier, as well as seeing a reduction in our carbon footprint.”
Rob Sexton, chief executive of Soil Association Certification, said: “Patients in Frenchay and Southmead hospitals are unique in being served food that meets the very demanding standards required to reach Silver: freshly prepared, seasonal, local and organic, that is traceable from the farm to the fork.
“We’d like to thank North Bristol NHS Trust for leading the way on hospital food for the people of Bristol, and providing an inspiring example for other hospitals.”