Sodexo NI Gets Caloriewise

May 21, 2012

Account director Barry Ambrose and Executive chef Cathy Adamson represented Sodexo NI at the launch of the Caloriewise scheme on 24th April 2012 by the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSANI). The scheme, which is being trialled by Sodexo and seven other businesses and organisations in Northern Ireland, will see calorie information displayed on menus and takeaway food for the first time. It is a drive to encourage consumers to make more informed choices when eating out or on-the-go.

Sodexo NI Gets Caloriewise

Sodexo has been working with the UK Food Standards Agency i since 2009. Wan Mak, head of Nutrition and Dietetics, led the pilot projects on calorie labelling in the company’s staff restaurants, the results of which contributed to the development of the Technical Guide for Calorie Labelling now used in industry and by other government departments.

Wan Mak worked with the FSANI dietary health team and Barry Ambrose in the launching of the Caloriewise initiative in Northern Ireland.

Barry Ambrose commented, “As part of our corporate social responsibility commitments, we believe strongly in enabling our consumers to make informed food choices. We are very fortunate to have in-house dietetic expertise to analyse the thousands of recipes used by our chefs which many smaller outlets/companies may not have. Calorie labelling is a very important part of the company’s Healthwise initiative, a nutrition, wellbeing and lifestyle philosophy underpinning the company’s commitment to healthy eating and living. “

Sodexo’s staff restaurants at the Police Service of Northern Ireland Garnerville in Belfast and Teleperformance in Bangor are the two pilot sites for the initiative and progress will be monitored over the next six months. The calorie content of items will be displayed clearly and prominently at the point of choice, in menus and on menu boards.

Barry Ambrose said, “The Caloriewise scheme is designed to get people thinking a bit more about their overall calorie intake in a day and encouraging them to make informed choices to keep the calories in check. Our chosen pilot sites will not only display calorie content for individual items and portions but also a clear reminder of the recommended daily intake on posters and leaflets which is 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 for women.“

Speaking at the launch, the Health Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, congratulated Sodexo and the other organisations in the pilot scheme, stating that he recognises the effort and commitment required to make it a success. The Minister said: “I would like to congratulate the Food Standards Agency and the participating businesses in Northern Ireland for working in partnership to deliver real benefits for consumers and I would urge other businesses to pick up this mantle and work with the FSA in order to have a positive impact on your customers’ health.”

The pilot programme will be evaluated to consider practical issues for businesses as well as consumer reactions and understanding of the scheme.

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