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Lunches


Melba
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We are considering providing lunches as a reaction to the poor quality of food brought in lunchboxes by many of our children.

can anyone tell us what effect that has on what we need to be doing in terms of food safety? Currently we only serve fruit and veg as a snack so haven't had to do much.

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We are a full daycare nursery and our hot lunches are provided by the local primary school We go and collect them in an insulated box, bring them back and serve them. We charge 10p per meal over the price that the school charges (£2.20) to partly cover the cost of serving and washing up. This is for a main course and a desert. This means we don't employ a cook, or have to worry about the shopping and cooking (although we do have to do that anyway as we provide breakfast and tea ourselves!) Of course, the hot lunches are only available during term time. In the school holidays, children bring a packed lunch and we cook a hot meal at tea time.

If you want to explore other options, a really good guide to food safety is called Safer Food, Better Business and is available free (I think) from your local environmental health department.

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Also consider the fact that parental choice could mean some may not want to take up the lunch provided and want to continue with packed lunches.. not sure you could insist on only having the lunch you provide.

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Funding states that parents can not be obliged to purchase lunch but are able to bring in their own. Why not do what we do , put a note in from the child - mummy , I need some fruit in my lunch box please. Giving the child a choice to choose which treats they can have , if they have 2 then only 1 allowed.

 

If you go with hot lunches , staff will need a food safety certificate, at least 2 person one being the manager.

 

Had a visit from EHO last week.

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We are day care and provide lunches made here by ourselves, all children pay and we haven't had any one say they want to bring their own in thankfully! You can't make them pay that's true but to be honest we have never had a problem with it and it makes life so much easier with everyone eating the same, if finances are tight (exceptional and genuine situations) we offer free meals through our deprivation grant tied to funding - we have done this for a couple of children over the years. We have never had a food safety inspection but all staff have got food hygiene. Our council sends out a questionnaire and then once you've returned they send a letter out saying whether they think you need an inspection or not. Probably worth checking with you local authority for that? We just probe meats and record temperatures before serving and monitor fridge and freezer temps and that's about all I can think of extra?

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