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Charlton House trains more Chefs in salt reduction techniques

Charlton House – specialists in high quality staff dining in business and industry (B&I) environments and the first catering company to commit to the Government’s new salt pledge targets - has announced the training of 50 addition Chefs onto its Chef Nutrition Training Course, which includes salt reduction techniques. This brings the total number of Chefs trained this year to 220. 

The Chef Nutrition Training Course encourages Chefs to consider the consequences on individuals of them using too much salt. The Chefs are put through rigorous salt tasting exercises and are shown how alternative ingredients and spices, such as lemon juice, can be used to enhance the perception of saltiness.

This announcement coincides with CH&Co’s commitment to the Government’s 2017 Public Health Out of Home Salt Reduction pledge.  Click here for full pledge details: https://responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/partners/partner/?pa=99.   

Charlton House, which feeds 60,000 people in the workplace daily, also hosts Wellbeing Awareness Days at its customer’s sites, including Virgin Atlantic and University of Oxford.  Co-hosted by independent nutritionist Amanda Ursell, the Wellbeing Awareness Days are a series of educational and engagement programmes which speak directly to employees about the potential harmful effects of having too much salt in their diet.  Amanda meets approximately 100 employees each month on a one-to-one basis, talking to them about salt reduction strategies, general health &wellbeing ideas and putting them through a salt awareness test.  In addition, Amanda runs bespoke Health & Wellbeing seminars for many of CH&Co’s clients which often link into their companywide Wellbeing days.

In support of companies like Charlton House, Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister said:  “The World Health Organisation has recognised the UK as among the world leaders in reducing salt in the diet but we want to go further to help prevent people dying early.  The support of the industry, like the commitments given today, is a vital part of this.”

Along with its parent company CH&Co, Charlton House has already removed 986kg of salt from workplace meals since signing up to the pledge in 2011.

It’s achieved this by promoting decreased salt use in three ways – the salt added in preparation; the salt in products purchased; and in salt availability ‘at the diner’s plate’. As well as taking on its own initiatives such as launching low salt versions of existing products.

In addition, Charlton House is now promoting a range of lower calorie, reduced salt meals thanks to its ‘Under 500 Calories’ Chef competition.  Hosted at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Charlton House Chefs designed healthier option recipes for Shepherd’s Pie, Chilli Con Carne and Tandoori chicken, amongst others. These recipes and more are now being offered to all workplace Chefs as they prepare their meals daily, using fresh ingredients.

Kawther Hashem, Nutritionist of CASH said: "It's great to see such a large and influential company as Charlton House continuing to look at ways to reduce salt in people’s diets.  It shows that both chefs and consumers alike can easily eat less salt, and although they won't notice a difference to the taste, they will notice a difference to their health.  For every 1 gram reduction in the nation’s salt intake we can prevent 6,000 people dying prematurely from strokes, heart attacks and heart failure.”  

Caroline Fry, CH&Co Chief Executive (B&I) of says “As 1 in 6 meals is now eaten out of the home, Caterers play an important role in the health & wellbeing of consumers.  We are constantly striving for innovative ways to reduce salt in traditionally high sodium foods such as bacon, sausages, soft cheeses, sauces and gravies, but our engagement programmes are a vital addition to contributing to a healthier diet for individuals and for the overall workforce.”  

Independent nutritionist Amanda Ursell, who co-hosts the Charlton House Wellbeing Awareness day events says:  “One of the quickest and easiest ways to lower your blood pressure is to reduce your salt intake and Charlton House is committed to doing just that in its healthy eating concepts and menus. By educating consumers to reduce salt used at the table, and by providing lower salt alternatives, Charlton House is empowering individuals to make informed, healthy choices.  The evidence of decreased salt usage is clearly an indicator that this approach is working.”

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