Food businesses in Glasgow are being encouraged to improve the overall nutritional quality of food on sale by signing up to the Glasgow Food Pledge.
Participation in the Glasgow Food Pledge, which is operated by Glasgow City Council Environmental Health, asks that food businesses make three changes to their practices such as:
- Reducing portion size
- Changing the cooking oil to a healthier alternative
- Reducing salt
- Offering healthier options in promotions
- Offering fruit
- Promoting low sugar drinks or water
These changes will provide an improved choice of food on sale in the community and in turn will make a contribution towards the Scottish Dietary Goals. Businesses taking the pledge will benefit from promotion within the local community and wider afield.
The aim is to apply the principles of reformulation to small businesses. Small changes can make a big difference.
The Glasgow Food Pledge, originally piloted in Shettleston is a means of enabling Food Law Enforcement officers to open a dialogue with a business in the form of a questionnaire and fact sheets. Quite often this is the first time that the business has had a conversation regarding the nutritional quality of food on sale. It reflects the recent high profile reformulation exercises i.e Irn Bru reducing the sugar content ahead of the sugar tax implementation.
Although the project is being piloted in Shettleston, the aim is for the pledge to be widened out to the east end with a view to an eventual roll out across the city.
The development of the Glasgow Food Pledge involved working with pupils at Eastbank Academy in Shettleston, who were surveyed and 60 per cent said they would like to be able to choose healthier food.
Young people at Eastbank Academy indicated that the healthier food choices they wanted included pasta, salad, fruit and vegetables.
Business making the pledge will be promoted locally. The first business to receive the award was Wee Anne's Cafe on Shettleston Road. The business appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times.
Thank you to Paul Birkin, Team Leader, Environmental Health, Glasgow City Council for contributing this article.
Photograph obtained from Evening Times article.