How Well Do You Know Your Healthy Foods?

Several products claim to be fat free, low fat or wholegrain but are these choices the healthiest?

Not necessarily, they can still be laden with sugar, additives, preservatives or potential allergens. Not all fats are bad, some are important to maintain a healthy body. Sometimes, the products that are marketed as health foods are the worst culprits for trans-fats, sugars and salt.

Catering food safety isn’t just a matter of avoiding cross contamination or cooking, reheating and chilling correctly. Knowing about the ingredients and products you stock, use and sell is a vital step towards offering your client base the best possible catering food safety and health options.

Always do some research to establish how healthy items are and which should be avoided for the consumers benefit. Taking food safety courses with a leading training firm like Food Alert is highly recommended to maximise catering and health and safety potential.

Food safety courses:

  • CIEH Food Safety Awareness.
  • Food Safety Induction Course.
  • CIEH level 1 Food Safety Course.
  • CIEH level 2 Food Safety Course.
  • CIEH level 3 Food Safety Course.
  • RSPH level 4 Managing Food Safety Course.

Health and safety training courses:

  • Health and safety induction.
  • Health and safety awareness.
  • Level 2, level 3 and level 4 awards in health and safety in the workplace. (3 and 4 are aimed at management, owners and supervisors.)
  • Overview for managers in food safety and health and safety.
  • Level 2 in environmental principles.

When we consider fruit and vegetables we instantly think of healthy eating. Whether your establishment uses organic or non-organic, produce should always be washed prior to use; pesticides, manure and soil can carry bacteria which are a serious health and safety risk.

Dried fruits often have sugar added to them during manufacturing. They also retain less minerals and vitamins than fresh products, and cost more.

Be cautious about fruit smoothies, especially mass-produced products, because these can contain sugars, colourings, concentrates or fruit juices which are not as beneficial as the fruit itself. When you add the natural sugar content to the extra sugar the calories mount up.

They may encourage fat storage, the reverse of the consumers intention.

Many gluten free products are perceived as weight loss solutions, rather than as a medical necessity. However, gluten free products rarely contain whole grains, they feature less vitamins and are sugar rich.

Several less expensive brands of cornflakes contain wheat. For gluten intolerant or coeliac consumers, the presence of wheat and gluten is a serious health risk.

When choosing between multigrain and whole grain, always select whole grain because the multigrain often won’t include the whole kernel. The whole grain delivers fibre, vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, although multigrain products sound healthy, their benefits are limited.

The labelling on your products must always be accurate. For a consumer with high blood pressure, stating on a menu that a meal has 1g of salt when it’s 3g is not just irresponsible but could compromise their wellbeing.

Remove risks by gaining information through professional health and safety and food safety courses.