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Nutrition: Training

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions Ministers and officials of her Department have had with (a) officials from the Sector Skills Development Agency, (b) regional development agencies and (c) representatives of the catering industry on training in nutrition and its relationship to health and well-being for chefs. (139951)

The Food Standards Agency have informed me that they have not had any discussions with the Sector Skills Development Agency nor the regional development agencies on the subject of training for chefs. They have, however, had discussions with People1st, the Sector Skills Council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism, which is responsible for identifying and tackling skills gaps in that sector.

Following the 2005-06 review of national occupational standards for food preparation and cooking, a specific unit was created on preparing and cooking healthier dishes. This unit is now available to those training to be chefs who are taking the National Vocational Qualification in food preparation and cooking. In addition, newly developed qualifications in professional cookery contain a mandatory unit on healthier eating and special diets. This means that chefs entering the industry with this qualification will have gained an understanding of the importance of healthier eating.