Skip to main content

School Meals

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment she has made of the amount of transfatty acids in school meals; and what steps she is taking to reduce it; (81157)

(2) what the recommended maximum level is of trans fatty acids in the national school meal guidelines.

I have been asked to reply.

The School Meals Review Panel considered the need for a specific standard for trans fatty acids to be included within their proposals, and concluded against imposing a specific standard for the following reasons:

Evidence shows that adult intakes of trans fatty acids are well below the maximum threshold level for health;

Adopting a standard to limit the fat content of school meals would contribute towards controlling levels of trans fatty acids; and

Food-based standards would include restrictions on foods which tend to be higher in trans fatty acids (for example savoury snacks and confectionery).

The School Food Trust supported the panel's view that their proposals would sufficiently control trans fatty acids, and that there was no need to develop a specific standard for trans fatty acids which had the potential to complicate the new standards unnecessarily, making it more difficult for schools and local authorities to implement.