We celebrate catering GOLD!

Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is celebrating the news that its coveted Gold Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark has been renewed for the fifth year in a row. 

The hospital was the first in the South West to achieve gold when it received the award in September 2015. At the time it was only the fourth hospital in the UK to gain this recognition.

The award recognises the hospital’s determination to offer freshly cooked meals making use of local ingredients in its café and to patients in the ward. It provides over 250 meals every day to patients of the Treatment Centre and at Shepton Mallet Community Hospital, as well as drinks and snacks to visitors, team members working in the centre, patients and local people.

The Gold Mark means that all the meat used at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is free range and achieves UK animal welfare standards. All fish used is confirmed from sustainable sources as defined by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council). Dishes contain only free-range eggs, no undesirable additives or trans-fats, with information on display about the source of ingredients. Many ingredients and food products are sourced locally from the Shepton Mallet area or the wider South West food and farming community. It also means that at least 15 per cent of ingredients are organic, with the hospital using Riverford for meat, vegetables and milk supplies. All dishes are prepared from scratch.

Breakfast, lunch, evening meal and light bites are available, and all dietary requirements are catered for. Mouth-watering dishes include: herb crusted baked cod served with potatoes and vegetables; cauliflower and broccoli mornay served with potatoes; beef and horseradish risotto served with homemade herb bread; pineapple cake with custard; peach flan.

There is a different menu for each day, and patients can opt to have larger or smaller than normal portions depending on their appetite. Both lunch and evening meal have three courses.

The catering team at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre is led by Head Chef Kevin Wollaston. He said: “We were over the moon when we achieved the Gold Mark in 2015, and we are equally excited that it has been renewed for the fifth year running – it proves that we are committed to maintaining the exacting standards demanded by the Soil Association.”

Patients and visitors are always appreciative of the food at Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre, and comments received include:  “So delicious I didn’t want to go home”; “The food was amazing, good quality and so much of it!”; “Delicious nourishing food, always presented attractively and served with a smile”, and; “Fantastic food – second to none.”