All our meals are compliant with the government’s school foods standards, designed to help children develop healthy eating habits and ensure that they have the energy and nutrition they need to get the most from their whole school day.
Allergen information is available for each menu item for parents to review, but we also encourage our Unit Catering Managers to work with parents to discuss dietary requirements to ensure each child can be catered for safely. Allergen management is something we take very seriously. All staff must complete and pass a ‘Natasha’s Law’ training module as part of their induction, and ongoing refresher training is provided to all catering staff. Each time a new menu is published there is a thorough process that takes place to identify any allergens in the new recipes.
We can also cater for special dietary requirements such as including gluten-free options, which we know is important to your school and pupils. We have experience of working with children on the autistic spectrum (ASD) and make extra efforts to ensure an inclusive approach for all pupils within the service.
Local sourcing and suppliers
As we are Food for Life accredited as well as Red Tractor, and use MSC certified products, we have full traceability throughout our supply chain which meets strict quality controls and due diligence. We are constantly creating new menu items that minimise the impact on the planet at the same time as being affordable and tasty.
The suppliers we use are all procured according to corporate procurement guidelines and are continually monitored and reviewed to ensure the best value for money. The current main suppliers are:
Brakes Bros Ltd – Part of the Sysco group, Brakes supply our frozen food and groceries. As a large company, Brakes ensure we receive supplies throughout the year, even when there have been shortages.
Arthur Brett Ltd – A local company working with schools for many years, meeting the challenges of providing top quality produce at an affordable price. The majority of produce is sourced from local farms too – helping to cut down on food miles.
Midland Foods Ltd – Supplying meat and meat products sourced from local farms meeting the higher welfare standards of Red Tractor and Farm Assured schemes.
CRB Cunninghams Ltd – The leading educational sales management systems provider based in Wythall, offering a cashless sales system, working with ParentPay.
Solihull Catering Services has been awarded the Food for Life bronze award created and managed by the Soil Association. The Food for Life awards are centred around four areas of development, which link to the criteria and create an action framework for school food: Food Quality, Food Leadership and Food Culture, Food Education, Community and Partnerships
Our menus demonstrate their compliance with national standards or guidelines on food and nutrition.
- At least 75% of dishes on the menu are freshly prepared (on site or at a local hub kitchen) from unprocessed ingredients
- All meat is from farms which satisfy UK animal welfare standards
- No fish from the Marine Conservation Society ‘fish to avoid’ list are used in our menus
- Eggs are from free range hens
- No undesirable additives or artificial trans fats are used
- No genetically modified ingredients are used
- Menus are seasonal and in-season produce is highlighted for pupils
- Information is on display about food provenance
- All suppliers have been verified to ensure they apply appropriate food safety standards
- Catering staff are supported with skills training and are engaged in food education