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Charlton House become first caterer to sign Government's new Responsibility Deal Pledge

Leading caterer commits to new salt targets as it delivers on its first Governmental Public Health Responsibility Deal salt pledge

Charlton House - the specialist in providing high quality staff dining in business and industry (B&I) environments - is the first catering company to commit to the new salt pledge targets, as laid out on 29th May 2104 in the Government’s 2017 Public Health Responsibility Deal. 

This commitment comes as Charlton House’s parent CH&Co reveals it has already removed 986kg of salt from meals served in the workplace since signing up to the pledge in 2011, of which 384kg was this year, achieving 83% of its original target. 

The catering sector has a vital role to play in health and wellbeing of consumers, as one in six meals is now eaten outside of the home.  Whilst Charlton House - which feeds 55,000 people in the workplace daily - has led this programme, the extent of the salt reduction success can be seen across the other CH&Co business units that have benefited too.

The process to educate customers about healthy eating in out-of-home venues, with an emphasis of salt reduction, has been led by CH&Co Chief Executive (B&I) Caroline Fry, nutritionist Amanda Ursell,  and creative director Judy Roberts, under the company’s  ‘Wellbeingbeingwell’ client-facing health initiative. A key part of the initiative is the Chef Nutrition Training programme, which has helped 125 of its chefs identify ways to reduce salt from their menus, without losing any of the taste.   

Whilst success has also come from initiatives such as launching low salt versions of existing products and undertaking salt tolerance testing sessions, Charlton House intends to seek new areas for improvement such as lower-salt options for bacon, sausages, soft cheeses, sauces and gravies.

Caroline Fry says: “I am proud of our achievements to date but we are not resting on our laurels when it comes to improving the nutritional value of the meals we serve.  We’re working closely with our suppliers, reviewing lower salt alternatives and looking for healthier lines that can become our default choices. We are committed to serving healthier, lower salt meals to our clients, but we are not prepared to compromise on taste or price, so our clients can rest assured that the quality and value of meals that we deliver with remain high.”  

Previous Wellbeingbeingwell successes include: the introduction and widespread use of healthy Essent-Oil, a refined rapeseed cooking oil, which has a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fats; replacing all semi-skimmed milk with 1% fat milk; replacing all mayonnaise with a low fat version; launching a range of calorie-counted salads, soups and sandwiches; replacing all tinned fruit in syrup with tinned fruit in juice; increasing vegetable side portions to 80g, which qualifies each to be one of Five-a-Day.

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