Posted on Wednesday 20 September 2017
Above: the sandwich bar is one of three food outlets
Gateshead School Catering has won the contract to provide school meals to approximately 1,000 pupils and teachers at Sedgefield College in County Durham.
The Gateshead Council-run service beat off competition from several other local and national catering providers to secure a three-year contract to provide a complete break-time and lunch-time food service to pupils and staff.
Pupils returning after the summer holidays will have seen an immediate difference after Gateshead School Catering spent most of the summer creating a whole new look for the schools various outlets – and completely re-decorating the serving areas.
The service’s new ‘Pitstop’ brand promises a wide range of hot food, including daily two-course specials, pasta and curry pot meals, as well as sandwiches, wraps, jacket potatoes and salads, all at affordable prices and in a bright and informal food court setting.
The bright new look is bound to attract attention, but it is nutritional standards that are paramount, says Facilities and Catering Manager Michael Lamb.
“We think one of the reasons Sedgefield College invited us to take over their catering was because of our commitment to qualty,” he says. “We make no secret of the fact that we demand the highest nutritional standards in everything we serve.
“That means much of our food is freshly prepared on site using locally-sourced and locally-grown ingredients. We introduced our local purchasing policy some years ago to support small local suppliers and our regional economy, and it’s something we remain passionate about.
“We also demand high welfare standards from our suppliers, and that means all of our eggs are free range, all meat and poultry meets the Red Tractor assured quality mark and we don’t use GM or mechanically-recovered meats.
“So the food on offer at Sedgefield College will be some of the best and most nutritious on offer anywhere. I’m happy to say the old days of stodgy puddings and ‘chips with everything’ are long gone – in fact, I doubt whether most parents would recognise today’s school meals as the same food they’d enjoyed at school! “
Gateshead’s School Catering Service serves almost 12,000 meals each school day, with around 75% of all main courses and desserts being prepared freshly each day on-site by trained catering staff. It also provides a school meals consultancy service to other schools in the region.
In March 2017, Sedgefield College was rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.