About the Award
Who are these awards for and who makes them? The ‘Essex Healthy Life’ Healthy Eating Awards are made by the fourteen Essex Council’s Environmental Health Departments, which together make up the Essex Food Liaison Group. The Gold and Silver awards are for commercial food outlets that have made the effort to offer healthy food, or at least healthy options.
Why have them? The average child today has a shorter life expectancy than that of its parents, all because of the obesity problem. Reversing that statistic is a staggering challenge for society and its magnitude equals the effects of climate change in both social and economic terms. There is pain and misery associated with the medical side effects of obesity as well as with simply loosing that feel-good factor. The Food Standards Agency has been tackling the big food manufacturers to reduce salt, sugar and fat in pre-prepared foods. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) are now tackling High Street and office caterers etc. who supply snacks or meals to the same customers on a regular basis. We want them to offer healthy food or at least healthy options and research has found that the publicity surrounding an award scheme is an incentive that some caterers respond to. If business operators are willing to serve and promote healthy food then we want to reward them!
What standards are required for Silver or Gold awards?
To be eligible for either award a food business must demonstrate adequate food hygiene standards. In addition, the criteria for both awards require that the business is committed to the following conditions:
In addition the GOLD award requires commitment to
What does this mean for customers? EHPs hope that customers will increasingly look out for businesses with a Healthy Eating Award. In addition to the certificates that award holders will display, some Council’s are showing award holders on the ‘ScoresOnTheDoors’ web site www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk . This site is mainly to display hygiene standards but there is also a new healthy eating section which will grow with time.