Local food businesses make healthy changes

Merton Council has this week awarded a number of local food outlets for adapting their menus to offer customers healthier choices.

London Healthier Catering Commitment

London Healthier Catering Commitment

At a special event in the civic centre (3 July) local businesses that have signed up to the London Healthier Catering Commitment (HCC) were recognised by the council who are now responsible for residents’ health.

La Poste Coffee Bar in Mitcham, who were the first HCC sign up in Merton in early 2012, attended the event as did newcomers Katavento and Ban Yai Thai Restaurant at Merton Abbey Mills and Fresh Fish in South Wimbledon.

The HCC is a pan-London initiative that aims to encourage food businesses to offer healthier menu choices. To achieve this mark food businesses have to meet eight out of 22 set criteria, four that are essential and have to be met. Some of the criteria include the type of oil used, salt, portion sizes and cooking procedures.

Other local businesses have already started to change their food practises to obtain the HCC too. Jose’s Cafe in Morden are now offering smaller portions upon request and displaying fresh fruit on the counter for customers to buy, whilst Venus Bar & Brasserie in Colliers Wood have changed the type of oil they use and changed to saltshakers with fewer holes.

Merton’s public health, environmental health and trading standard teams are working together to give more local businesses the chance to get involved.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Linda Kirby said: “The HCC is a good initiative for shops to strive for. It is great that local businesses are making the effort to provide healthier options to customers.”