Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Defence written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to prevent menu fatigue amongst UK forces in Afghanistan issued with 24-hour operational ration packs; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

We place the utmost importance on ensuring our troops are properly fed on operations, and indeed throughout the world. Huge effort goes into nutritional analysis, designing and planning menus, delivering food stocks and preparing food to ensure our men and women have all the proper nutrition they need to carry out their demanding and important tasks. We are aware that menu fatigue can arise, however, and every effort is made to alleviate it.

There are 10 General Purpose menus available in the 24 hour Operational Ration Packs (ORP), and plans are under way to increase this number to 14. There are also five Halal, five Sikh/Hindu and five Kosher/Vegetarian variants and five 10 Man ORP variants available. The majority of remote operating locations also receive supplies of fresh food at least once a week which are used to supplement ORPs.

Royal Logistics Corps chefs have now been deployed to all of the Forward Operating Bases, and provide cooked meals for personnel using ORPs and fresh food supplies. Meals in the larger bases are generally provided from a three to four week multiple choice menu cycle. All chefs supporting the British armed forces on operations take great pride in providing a varied and high quality menu and are very responsive to customer feedback. Unit commanders are also provided with guidance on how to ensure that personnel remain properly nourished and hydrated on operations.

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