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Food Labelling

Justice written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) whether food and catering services in (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible plan to implement calorie labelling on menus and display boards;

(2) what steps the food and catering services in (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible are taking to ensure the country of origin of foods are labelled on its menus and display boards.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

Currently, the means for each prison to calculate the calorific value of their individual menus is not available. To do this in all cases would require a full evaluation and is likely to require major capital investment at a time when public spending is under severe constraint. While MOJ are looking at aspects of menu provision including identifying calorific values for certain recipes, there are currently no plans to include such information on daily menus.

NOMS sets out the specification for catering in the prison service Instruction 44/2010 which contains a set of minimum standards for prisons to implement. Prison catering managers publish in advance pre-select menus covering between three and five weeks which are rotated over several months.

Food for prisons is purchased and delivered through mandated suppliers who have to comply with Food Labelling Regulations 1996. The voluntary inclusion of country of origin is not a requirement for all foods. Suppliers will procure food from several different countries based on price and availability. Prisons will often not know the country of origin of some products until the day of delivery prohibiting this detail from being included on previously published menus.

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