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04
May

Love British Food celebrates hospitals serving British seasonal food


Love British Food, the organisation championing home-produced food, is celebrating the increasing number of UK hospitals that are sourcing and serving local British seasonal foods to patients.   

 

Andy Jones, former Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association, says: “We know that many hospitals in the UK are already buying and serving British food. Of the £205m spent by the NHS on food for patients probably about 75% is spent on British food. Our aim is to ensure these hospitals continue to buy and serve British and not switch to cheaper imports and at the same time encourage more hospitals to make the commitment to buy and serve British.

 

“The average budget per patient per day is £3.45, however by using good quality seasonal ingredients purchased locally it’s possible to greatly improve patient meals. With austerity affecting us all and Brexit looming there is never a better time to buy British. All caterers in all sectors especially those within the NHS Healthcare and Social Care will benefit greatly by having menus that support the season. This will save money and allows caterers to meet patient needs better.”

 

Nottingham City Hospital for instance saves £1m a year of which over 65% is procured locally by sourcing local ingredients and cooking daily. And the Morecambe Bay Trust works closely with local suppliers and champions British produce to feed around 800,000 hospital patients and 50-60 meals a day to patients in the community. Freeman Hospital, which is part of the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a traditional cooking hospital serving over 770,000 patient meals every day. It works closely with suppliers throughout the year making sure they use as much British and local produce as possible while focusing on cooking nutritious meals and saving money too.

 

Love British Food asked Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard to create a meal to a £4 per head budget (based on three courses). It might sound like a tall order but by putting vegetables as the central focus and using cheaper cuts of meat Phil managed to produce amazing dishes. These included Sourdough bread with Longley Farm Jersey butter; steamed hispi cabbage with a coddle Chapel Farm eggs dressing and a Roulade of Welsh Black Mountain chicken with creamed potato, Worcestershire leek hearts and spinach and a dessert of organic buttermilk mousse with Yorkshire rhubarb and orange.  Guests tasting the dishes were impressed. 

 

Phil Howard says: “Providing British meals on a small budget can be done - as long as one respects the seasons - this is key. With the buying power that some hospitals have there is a strong case for more British seasonal produce to be served to patients.”

 

Alexia Robinson, Founder of Love British Food says: “We are delighted that so many hospitals are on board and have a British seasonal offering. We’ve demonstrated that it can be done and we want to hear from these hospitals so we can showcase their great work. We are encouraging more hospitals to follow suit and to this end we are happy to help by putting hospitals in touch with local suppliers and offering the Love British Food logo to all hospitals taking part. The menu Phil Howard produced shows that it is feasible to create delicious and nutritious meals on a small budget.”

 

 

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