Takeaways and cafes rewarded for offering healthier food

GOOD HEALTH -- HOT Merit Awards winners receive their certificates from council leader, Councillor Cheryl Butler.

GOOD HEALTH -- HOT Merit Awards winners receive their certificates from council leader, Councillor Cheryl Butler.

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Takeaways across Ashfield are being urged to provide healthier alternatives to the traditional fat-laden, calorie-busting menus of the old greasy-spoon cafes.

Now the first winners of a new awards scheme, encouraging better food options, have received their special certificates from council leader, Councillor Cheryl Butler.

The idea behind the HOT (Healthier Options Takeaway) scheme is to tackle rising obesity in the district by helping customers manage their weight. It will also increase awareness of, and access to, healthier food.

A council spokesman said: “Takeways, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops with a hygiene rating of three or above can apply for a merit award, free of charge.

“Many already offer healthier options and display information about this on their menus. Others may offer healthier options without realising it or promoting it.

“By making small changes to what is offered or how food is prepared, cooked or served, takeaways can serve more healthier choices for their customers.

“By gaining this award, businesses are being seen to be committed to supporting local communities that want to lead healthier lives.

“Other benefits include increasing customer sales and satisfaction, and enhancing the reputation of the business.”

The merit award certificates, which can be displayed on the premises, last for two years unless there is a change of owner or cuisine, or a drop in hygiene ratings.

The council’s portfolio holder for community safety and engagement, Councillor Nicole Ndiweni, added: “It is heartening to see so many Ashfield businesses get involved in the HOT scheme, which offers cost-effective, healthier options and has been endorsed by the Health Wellbeing Board for Nottinghamshire.”