Schools: Food

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th September 2021.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 15 of the National Food Strategy, whether he plans to implement the recommendation that the School Food Standards should be updated.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with departmental colleagues on the introduction of an updated Reference Diet as set out in recommendation 14 of the National Food Strategy.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to remove the School Food Standards requirement to serve meat three times a week in line with the Reference Diet recommended in the National Food Strategy.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The School Food Standards provide the legislative framework to ensure schools provide children with healthy food and drink options, and to make sure that children get the energy and nutrition they need across the school day. The School Food Standards are in line with current government advice on red and processed meat, encouraging schools to serve it in moderation as a good source of nutrients, including iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

Work to update the standards was paused during the COVID-19 outbreak. We do however keep this position under review, and are working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to carefully consider the National Food Strategy’s recommendations and will respond in full with a White Paper in due course.

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