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Allergies and Nutrition

EU Regulations on Food Labelling

Changes to food labelling have been in place since December 2014 and this legislation is called the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC). They help provide allergen ingredients information in a clearer and more consistent way. For example, any of the 14 allergens that are on the regulatory list are to be emphasised on the label of a pre-packaged food if they are used as ingredients.

This new European legislation came into force on 13 December 2014 and changes the way allergen information appears on labels and on food that is pre-packed, sold loose or served when eating outside the home.

Schools have to comply with this new legislation and therefore allergen posters with the menu details are now placed in both primary and secondary kitchens. The 14 allergens are: eggs, milk, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, cereals (containing gluten), soya, celery, mustard, lupin, sulphur dioxides and sulphites.

Click here for information on allergy-specific menus


CeleryCereals containing GlutenCrustaceansEggsFish



Working with our partners

The school meals service works closely with Primary and Secondary Head Teachers, Healthy Schools, Dental Health, Healthy Living, and Dieticians, to ensure a whole school approach to provide a nutritional meal for children every day. The Schools Nutritional Action Group (SNAG) is made up of professionals based around food, health and well being within St.Helens.

Also members of Soil Association (Food for Life Accreditation) and LACA (Local Authority Catering Association).


The School Food Plan outlines the food standards which governs the type of food served in St.Helens Schools.

This government legislation relates to what can and cannot be served at lunchtime. i.e. healthier drinks, more water and fruit and vegetables are in. Cakes, biscuits and confectionery are out. The School Meals Service has to restrict salt, snacks (sugar) and deep fried foods.

The School Meals Service strives continually for a healthy diet for children and advises head teachers on how they can improve their food service along with offering advise on food information for their pupils, with the help from our Executive Development Chef Andrew Ferguson.

Primary Service

Converting customers to choose healthy options is always going to be a big challenge. Our goal is to improve the food content of products on our Menus and to try and ensure each customer has a healthy balanced diet. All the companies we work with strive to provide us with School Meals friendly food products. All products used in the Schools Meals Service looks and tastes the same as other food products but contain less fat and sugar as well as also having a reduced salt content.

Secondary Service

'Meal of the Day', which is produced every day and includes a roast dinner each week increases the wide range of food choices available for pupils.
The 'Meal of the Day' contains a wide range of dishes over the 3 week cycle menu, including food from different cultures which are always popular with pupils.

Smartfood, Theos and Street Eats  have developed products especially for the School Meals market which contain less fat and reduced salt levels.





Smartfood have helped develop a pasta bar which is available daily, along with a wide range of fresh fruit pots and hot/cold sandwich options and salad bar. Hot and cold puddings are available daily. The secondary school catering service has limited the range of drinks i.e. bottles and cans but strived to provide fruit derived products which again are low in sugar and bottled water which have to meet the School Food Plan guidance. Jacket potatoes are available daily along with vegetarian options.

Pupils with special dietary requests, food allergies and food intolerances are also catered for.