Food in Secondary Schools
At HC3S we genuinely believe that we have an obligation to promote and actively encourage healthy eating amongst students. We plan our menus carefully paying attention to colour, texture, provenance and seasonality of our ingredients.
Our fully trained catering teams pride themselves on cooking a range of fresh, exciting, eye-catching main meals, handheld snacks, cakes and biscuits. Dishes, which are nutritionally sound, low in sugar, fat and salt, are offered at a price students can afford.
The effort we put into our menus extends to our ingredients and some examples of how we support local industry, animal welfare and sustainability include:
Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurts from Somerset, with cattle farmed in Blagdon, Somerset
All our eggs are free range, sourced locally from Fordingbridge
Fish and fish products are from sustainable fish sources
Local fruit and vegetables are used when in season and that includes apples, cabbages, cauliflowers, spring greens, leeks, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, lettuce, soft fruit, potatoes and watercress
We source our apple juice from a local Alton-based maker who produces Hampshire Apple Juice in recyclable bottles. The fruit used is also locally sourced from Liss in Hampshire
Beef meatballs are made from animals farmed in Overton, and our beef burger using mainly meat from Laverstoke Park Farms
Red Tractor chicken breast fillets, produced in the UK, from UK reared birds
Sausages using some Hampshire pork are made to a BPEX Gold Award winning Southern Pride recipe. All pork is from South Coast farms
Minced beef, sliced beef (Scottish Farm Assured) are all sourced from the UK
Our menus comply with the Government's final food based and nutritional standards and evidence is provided using our menu planning software package. Information including ingredients and nutritional content is available to students, staff and parents upon request.
But HC3S do more than just meet the government standards. Led by our Food Development Officer, HC3S was the first, and is the only school meals service nationally to receive the Highest Standard Award from the Hyperactive Children's Support Group for its removal of almost 70 additives from its primary school menus.
We have removed all but a handful of the additives from the list which may cause sensitivity in secondary age students. The only remaining additives are those used to cure bacon and cooked meats, and the natural colouring found in instant custard.
We have to be very sure about food safety. And we ensure that all our suppliers premises, their delivery vehicles as well as the products they provide, are subjected to rigorous inspections on a regular basis.
All suppliers provide a specification for each food product supplied, detailing the ingredients and nutritional elements. We use Hampshire Scientific Services to regularly and randomly sample the content of the food for composition, to verify the authenticity of ingredients, to ensure the food does not contain any genetically modified ingredients and to quality audit manufacturer's premises and processes.