Healthy eating

Meet some of our WESC Catering team: (L-R) Kirsty, Dale and Scott
Meet some of our WESC Catering team: (L-R) Kirsty, Dale and Scott

At WESC we like to ensure that all our learners follow a healthy diet.  We do this with the help of our amazing catering team who currently hold a local authority 5 score food hygiene rating!

The catering department use a system called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).  This is to ensure all food is safe to eat. We only purchase from reputable suppliers. We then create an audit trail from delivery to the final service to our learners.

All the food used in the WESC kitchens is locally sourced, with all the fruit, vegetables, meats, fish and dairy produce, together with fresh bread, supplied from the Exeter area.

The menu is changed regularly to reflect both the season and preferences of the learners via the Student Council. The catering manager sits on both the student council and the WESC Well Being Group.

In an effort to promote healthy eating, fresh fruit and yoghurts are available both at lunchtime and at the evening meal every day.  Desserts are made with reduced sugar and are only served twice a week.  Fish platters and cheese boards are offered as an alternative to desserts.

A healthy platter!
A healthy platter chosen by WESC learners!

Additionally, no salt is added in any of the dishes prepared by the WESC kitchens – herbs and spices are used instead to flavour the food.

The catering team liaise regularly with teachers, enablers and care teams to cater for all individual learners’ dietary requirements and work closely with the Speech and Language Therapy department to produce individual diets for learners with specific medical conditions.

The chefs are professionally trained with over 20 years’ experience. All chefs hold a Level 3 Food Safety certificate and the catering assistants trained to Level 2.  Before joining WESC in 2003, the Catering Manager came from a service background serving 22 years with the British Army in many theatres around the world and is trained to Master Chef Level.  He holds a RSPH Level 3 Award in Nutrition for Healthier Foods and Special Diets and is also trained to Advanced Food Hygiene level. The whole team maintain their knowledge and standards by participating in their own programme of continuous professional development.

Everyone in the catering team knows all the learners individually by name and encourages them to make healthy choices.