10 July 2019

New IndiCater Nutrition Specialist – Kate Taylor

Hello! As, this is my first guest blog for Indicater I thought it would be best to start with a short intro! I’m Kate, a registered nutritionist, food lover and general eco-warrior (the last two have no professional qualifications but give you an insight into me and what’s important in my life and career). In 2017, The Food Boss, my nutrition consultancy was brought to life and I now spend my time educating others on how to eat better to support their lifestyles. I work with various food businesses, deliver workshops and seminars to corporate clients and coach individuals to get to their nutrition or performance related goals.

There is quite a lot going on in the world of nutrition from a UK Government perspective at the moment. With everyone caught up in Brexit it’s easy to lose sight of some of the Government consultations being debated and what it might mean for us.

One of the most recent, is the Defra consultation on mandatory allergen labelling for food which is pre-packed for direct sale. This was to be expected after the rising number of cases, heavily reported by the media for foods either not labelled or mislabeled resulting in deaths. Just two weeks ago the Food Standards Agency spoke of their support for the proposed legislation therefore it’s highly likely this will come into force and will require more than the current “ask our staff” signs seen in many food establishments. Whilst food allergies can be daunting for our staff it’s important they recognize the importance of providing the right information and being confident with the customer. Training, allergy champions and steering the process from the top down can all help our understanding and support our customers.

Next up is the mandatory calorie labeling consultation for all foods in the out of home environment. This was first introduced on a voluntary basis back in 2011 by The Department of Health and has only been growing in conversation amongst health professionals as overweight and obesity rates continuing to rise. With excess calories being the most important factor in causing an individual to gain weight it’s clear that more needs to be done to educate the general public on just how many calories are found in our foods. The Republic of Ireland have already passed this as legislation although it is yet to be implemented. Whether to have the information at point of choice or just available to download/online is an ongoing point of discussion.

And finally, just last week the consultation on reviewing the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering was launched. These guidelines are important for anyone working in the public sector. Proposed changes look at both mandatory and voluntary measures and cover saturated fat, salt, meal deals, confectionary, sugar reduction and increasing fibre amongst others. The consultation closes on 13 August 2019.

That’s all from me this month. You can find me on Instagram @the_food_boss_ or via my website www.thefoodboss.co.uk so please get in touch if you have any questions or future topics you’d love me to write about.