What your business can do
Making small changes to the food that you serve can make a big impact on the health of your customers.
- Don't add salt when cooking. If you reduce it over time, your customers won't notice.
- Don't offer salt to customers. Let them add their own if they choose.
- Offer low-sodium salt.
- Look out for reduced salt products, including bread, bacon, soy sauce and sauces.
- Limit the use of high salt ingredients.
- Offer no- or low-sugar drinks, including water, displayed at eye level to encourage customers to choose these items.
- Reduce the amount of sugar you put into foods.
- Offer natural or sugar-free yoghurts and other sugar-free alternatives.
If you make salads and sandwiches, you can:
- swap full-fat mayonnaise and salad dressings for reduced-fat versions, and offer customers the choice of having no dressing.
- use healthier spreads, only butter one side of the bread in a sandwich and offer customers the choice of having no spread.
- offer low-fat fillings for sandwiches, wraps and salads.
- offer grilled or baked options.
- trim excess fat and skin from meat and poultry.
- try meat-free alternatives such as Quorn.
- offer low-fat milk and yoghurt.
- Poly-unsaturated or mono-unsaturated oils must be used when cooking food. For examples, use sunflower, rapeseed, or olive oil in place of lard, butter, ghee or palm oil.
- Many oils described as vegetable oil contain soya, which is an allergen that must be decaled, and some are made from genetically modified ingredients, which also must be declared on the menu.
- Thin-cut chips absorb more fat than thicker cut chips, so use fat chips where possible.
- Use the correct frying temperature (175C to 190C) and always shake and bang fried food and blot it on absorbent paper.
Cream, coconut cream and milk
If you use cream, coconut cream or milk in sauces, you should:
- use single cream or try reduced-fat creme fraiche or yoghurt.
- try reduced-fat coconut milk and cream.
- It is recommended that a small portion of chips is 100g, a medium portion is 165g and a large portion is 240g.
- Offer small portions, such as a half or a third smaller than the standard.
- Offer the option of half rice, half curry in a single takeaway container, or half stir fry and half rice or noodles.
- Offer pizza by the slice.
- Offer half a sandwich if requested.
- Think about your menu and how you can give more choice to customers in terms of portion sizes.
- The website MenuCal, provided by Food Standards Scotland, has free online training on nutrition, which can help you calculate the calories on your menu.
- Offering choice on portion size can reduce food waste and save you money. You can check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for further ideas.
- Think about the packaging that you use. It affects portion size and the environment.