BHA report: FSM companies take big steps to improve public health

FSM companies have been praised for making meals eaten out-of-home healhier. Photo: Thinkstock/istock/studioportosabbia

Food Service Management (FSM) companies are leading the way in offering healthier meals outside of the home, a report by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) has shown. 

According to the BHA's Food Service Management Report, published today, 94 per cent of companies within this sector have reduced salt in their meals and 81 per cent have reduced sugar and fat in the last year. 

FSM businesses, defined as operators of food concessions at sports and similar facilities; operators of canteens or cafeterias in hospitals, schools, factories and offices and event caterers, now serve more than four million customers each day, representing sales of £83.9bn. 

One in four meals are eaten out of the home and the BHA predicts the number will grow further over the next five years. 

BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim praised the work of FSM companies to deliver healthier meals out of the home and said it was setting a precedent for the rest of the hospitality sector. 

“This is a remarkable achievement and significant work is ongoing to further improve menus and choice in the FSM offer. Similarly, there has been positive engagement across many restaurant and hotel caterers, demonstrating the willingness of industry to work with Government to improve public health and reduce obesity in the UK." 

Other steps taken by FSM companies over the last year to adhere to the Government's Responsibility Deal, include training chefs to cook healthier options (88 per cent); removing artificial trans fats (75 per cent) and including calorie labelling on menus (69 per cent). 

Ibrahim urged the Government to revive Responsibility Deal to help engage more companies in the sector.

“Significant investment has been made by many FSM companies, to bring reporting in line with the Responsibility Deal. We would therefore urge the Department of Health to revive the Responsibility Deal, building on the commitments of hospitality businesses. Continuity of the programme would help to encourage the participation of greater numbers of businesses," she said. 

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