Recipe 4 health award

Recipe 4 Health award

What is the Recipe 4 Health award?

The R4H award promotes businesses that focus on healthy eating, environmental issues, and social responsibility. Sound like you? Read on. R4H is awarded by Lancashire County Council and is a Lancashire Trading Standards scheme for caterers. At each level, you have to show you are compliant with food safety, food standards, licensing and age restricted sales legislation and have an awareness of healthy eating, environmental issues, allergens and alcohol issues.

The award is free, and you need to have passed your last environmental health inspection then complete a self-assessment form, which asks for information about your business. This is then returned to Trading Standards, who will assess the form and any evidence provided. In some cases, a quick telephone chat might be needed or a short visit to your premises. If Trading Standards feel you meet the criteria of the award, then you will be notified by us and receive your award through the post. The whole process should take no longer than 1 month. All businesses with the award will be promoted on our website, and through publicity of the scheme in council buildings.

Benefits for your business

  • Businesses will be supported to make positive yet simple changes to their menus, policies, and practice to support the health of the local community and for the benefit of the local environment.
  • Businesses with the award will receive online promotion on the Lancashire gov website, which has full public access and is promoted across the country, and in council buildings.
  • Businesses with the award will receive a promotion pack containing a certificate and other eye-catching materials to display in premises along with a detailed support pack to help businesses maintain the award.
  • For pilot businesses signing up through the HPHF PL trailblazerThe Healthier Place, Healthier Future project is here to support you in signing up for and helping to shape the new R4H award. By doing this, you will become our business champions, and will receive a unique support package. You will help us to roll out the R4H to businesses across the rest of Pennine Lancashire.
  • Applications for the R4H award are free of charge.

How to apply

  • There are three levels to R4H - Bronze, Silver and Gold.
  • You must apply for each level of the award – for example, if you would like to apply for Silver, you must have the Bronze R4H Award first.
  • You must have attained at least 3 stars or over for the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
  • Please fill in the self-assessment form below. The form is then sent to Trading Standards. If you successfully qualify for the award, you will be notified by post. This should take no longer than 1 month.
  • Complete the self-assessment form carefully, answering yes/no and filling in the information requested. If any questions are not applicable to your business, please write N/A.
  • The more information you offer, the less likely an officer will need to pay an assessment visit. If you need more space, please include any extra information on additional paper.
  • Please provide a copy of your menu with your assessment sheet.

You can print the forms and return them to:

Gary Singleton
Lancashire Trading Standards

County Hall
Pitt Street

  • Save on postage and paper by filling in the form electronically, save it and email it back to:
  • We encourage you to include evidence with your application, please scan it and attach it to the email, or send copies if you are returning your application by post.
  • You can apply to the award at any time of the year. If you have any questions, please contact:

Supporting information

You need a 3 * Food Hygiene Rating to apply for the Bronze R4H Award, a 4 * Food Hygiene Rating to apply for the Silver R4H Award, and a 5 * Rating for the Gold R4H Award. You will also need to consider the following:

Do you promote and market your products? Are any of these the healthier items on the menu or marked as healthier? Do you actively promote healthier options to your customers? A healthier item on the menu could be a dish with wholegrain rice or bread, containing extra portions of fruit or vegetables, low-fat / salt / sugar dishes, a healthier kid’s meal, or even a smaller portion size.

Using the Eatwell Guide when planning menus and meals is considered good practice. The Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. The R4H award encourages businesses to support staff by raising awareness of simple healthy eating guidance and increasing confidence in promoting healthy options to customers. For example: do dishes incorporate vegetables and salad as standard, are wholegrain options available, do you use reduced fat, salt and sugar items, or offer free tap water refills?

Including fruit, fibre or vegetables into your dishes will increase their nutritional value and taste. One portion of vegetables is around 80g – do you include this in your dishes or offer fruit and vegetables as snacks if possible? Do you offer vegetable side dishes?

Reducing sugar and salt in dishes can be easy – choose reduced salt condiments (e.g., reduced salt ketchup or soy sauce). Choosing saltshakers that have 3 holes rather than 5 and holding these behind the counter is the easiest way to reduce added salt in dishes. You can also use low-salt stock cubes, gravy granules and sauces where applicable. Choose low calorie or no added sugar drinks and display these at eye level.

If you serve hot drinks, do you offer semi or skimmed milk? When frying, do you look at oil maintenance and how this can be improved? (e.g., oil in deep fryers is regularly strained/debris skimmed after each batch/throughout service, fully filtered at least weekly, oil is topped up after every session and oil is changed before it froths, foams or smokes). Do you offer steamed, grilled, or boiled dishes as alternatives to fried?

Clear allergen guidance is essential for businesses – businesses should display signs that encourage customers to ask staff about allergenic ingredients and staff should be trained to check with the chef if customers have a query about allergens. Do you check pre-packaged products and request notifications from suppliers if products contain allergens? Are all staff made aware which menu items contain allergenic ingredients?

Businesses can support the reduction of food waste, serving dishes in sustainable packaging and buying local produce. Businesses should look at their trade waste contract and outline any other actions that minimise impact on the environment (e.g., recycling, energy efficiency measures, minimising water waste).