Hampshire County Council Catering Service

Healthy and sustainable

Find out how we ensure all our menus include healthy and sustainable choices

Healthy and sustainable sausage hot pot

Here at HC3S, we strive to provide all our customers with healthy, sustainable and tasty food. Find out more about some of the ways we are improving our menu.

Farm to fork

We support British farming and are committed to full traceability in every meal we serve. From Red Tractor meat to free-range eggs and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved fish, we work to the highest standards so that you and your family are assured of a quality meal.

Our kitchens are regularly audited by Hampshire Scientific Services. Food and product safety samples are taken to ensure that HC3S outlets are clean, safe and comply with all relevant legislation.

Our commitment to sustainability extends to sourcing ingredients from local and regional suppliers wherever possible. We actively seek out suppliers whose ethics and sustainability credentials align with our own, including those who hold the New Forest Marque or the Leaf Marque. We even use vegetables and herbs grown in our own plot at Sir Harold Hillier’s Gardens.

We are proud of our animal welfare credentials. We hold the Good Egg and Good Chicken awards from Compassion in World Farming.

The School Food Plan

When we cook meals for your children, we ensure that we adhere to the School Food Plan. The scheme, created by the Department for Education, is all about providing children with food that promotes good health and helps them to get the most out of their time in the classroom.

The plan was launched in July 2013. It set out 17 actions to transform what children eat and how they learn about food. 

Overall, the School Food Plan is about improving the academic performance of our children and the health of our nation.

Working with dietitians

A registered dietitian and has been responsible for ensuring HC3S provide nutritious school meals for children with special diets since 2017.

Our dietitian is passionate about ensuring every child has access to a nutritious diet. They work closely with our food development team to ensure all the food we serve is tasty, healthy and compliant with school food regulations.

Reducing sugar

We have worked hard to reduce sugar in our school meals. When planning menus we look to use reduced sugar recipes, reduce the amount of added sugar and add more fruit to our desserts.

We have reduced the amount of times we serve biscuits as part of the primary school menu. We have also reduced the size of our largest portions.

In secondary schools and some primary schools we have replaced our Yazoo drinks with the no added sugar variety. This has reduced sugar from 9.4g per 100ml to 4.7g per 100ml. Small Viva milkshakes have also lowered their sugar content, from 9.4g per 100ml to 8.5g per 100ml.

Reducing salt

We no longer include salt in our recipes. Our catering teams are not allowed to add salt to their cooking at all, and are encouraged to use spices and herbs to flavour dishes.

We actively encourage suppliers to reduce the salt content of their products.