Food allergy training supporting catering design

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) is launching a training workshop and qualification designed to better equip caterers on food allergy, intolerance and coeliac disease.
New for 2018, the one-day ‘HABC level 3 award in food allergen management for caterers’ will cover the below topics:

Characteristics of food allergy, food intolerance and coeliac disease
Food allergy facts and figures
Common allergenic foods
Hidden allergens, food allergy and the law
Different approaches to communicate food allergy information
Allergenic hazards and control measures
Allergy awareness training for food handlers
To give those responsible for the management of food safety the knowledge “to manage allergenic hazards from supplier to plate and comply with current food safety legislation.”

NACC national chair, Neel Radia, said: “It’s vital that care providers have robust policies in place to ensure that all food allergies, intolerances and coeliac disease are safely managed, and training is a crucial part of this.

“The NACC is committed to supporting the care sector with up-to-date information and training, and our new workshop and qualification will give teams the knowledge and confidence to recognise hazards and manage food allergens at every touch point.

“We encourage all care providers to review the training requirements of their catering teams and sign up to complete the course and qualification.”

The first workshop will take place on 8 February 2018 at Aimia Food Limited (Merseyside,) and the second on 15 February at Brakes Ltd (Covent Garden.)

For £199+VAT for NACC members and £266+VAT for non-members, the workshop includes the course, exam, certificate and lunch, and can be booked via



Market intelligence agency Mintel has predicted five trends set to take the food and drink market by storm over the next year, including “multisensory” and “scientifically engineered” products, in order to reflect changing consumer demands.

As discussed by Jenny Zegler, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, these include:

  • “Full disclosure – Consumers require complete and total transparency from food and drink companies”

Moving forward, Zegler says that consumers worldwide demand ”honest disclosures” about how, where, when and by whom food and drink is grown, harvested, made and/or sold. Recent scandals have resulted in widespread mistrust and the need for reassurance about the safety and trustworthiness of products, which also challenges manufacturers and retailers to make labels “clean” – transparent and easy to read.

  • Food and drink that provide nutrition, physical, or emotional benefits

As “hectic and stressful” modern life takes its toll, consumers are starting to invest more in self-care routines, with “flexible and balanced” diets an integral element. According to Zegler, this will reinforce the need for a “variety of formats, formulations and portion sizes of food and drink that present consumers with positive solutions—and treats—that can be incorporated into their customised and flexible definitions of health and wellness” – offering ingredients, products, and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical, or emotional benefits.

  • Focus on texture

Texture is, apparently, the latest tool to engage the senses and deliver “share-worthy experiences” – especially important for connecting with younger consumers. Companies need to consider the role that sound, feel and satisfaction plays in providing consumers with “tangible connections to the real world, as well as moments worth sharing either in-person or online.”

Technological advancements have already helped make “shopping as effortless as possible” – saving consumers both time and money. As they continue to sample a variety of channels and technologies, including home delivery, subscription services, and automatic replenishment, retailers need to “leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency,” including customised recommendations, cross-category pairings, and other resourceful solutions that save consumers time, effort, and energy, suggests Zegler.

  • Personalisation

Technological advancements have already helped make “shopping as effortless as possible” – saving consumers both time and money. As they continue to sample a variety of channels and technologies, including home delivery, subscription services, and automatic replenishment, retailers need to “leverage technology to establish new levels of efficiency,” including customised recommendations, cross-category pairings, and other resourceful solutions that save consumers time, effort, and energy, suggests Zegler.

  • Focus on science and technology

According to Zegler, “technology is being used to engineer solutions for our stretched global food supply,” which can be seen as companies start to develop solutions to “replace traditional farms and factories with scientifically engineered ingredients and finished products.

“Technology could eventually be used to design food and drink that is inherently more nutritious, which could extend the consumer audience for scientifically engineered food and drink beyond environmentally conscious shoppers to reach consumers who are concerned about ingredient consistency, efficacy, and purity,” she added.

She concluded: “In 2018, Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets, as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences.

“There also is an exciting new chapter dawning in which technology will help brands and retailers forge more personalised connections with shoppers, while enterprising companies are using scientific engineering to create an exciting new generation of sustainable food and drink.”


How Fast is the UK catering equipment industry growing?

In 2016, the market for non-domestic catering equipment was estimated to have increased by 3%, with a further 2% value growth forecast for 2017, according to the ‘Non-Domestic Catering Equipment Market Report – UK 2017-2021 Analysis’, which was recently published by AMA Research.

This should be music to the ears of distributors and suppliers concerned that market uncertainty would destabilise the future of the sector.

AMA believes the main factors supporting the catering equipment market since 2012 have been an improving economy, increasing levels of consumer confidence and strong growth in the eating out sector. The catering equipment market is expected to show modest growth of 2-3% per annum through to 2021 in line with a less confident economy.

Despite the trend for healthy eating, it is quick serve restaurants that account for largest sector of the foodservice market. The rapid growth in the coffee shop sector and the popularity of ‘grab and go’ food has led to increasing demand for more compact catering products with multiple functions, to maximise performance in smaller venues. The growth in popularity of open plan restaurants has also boosted the industry, with restaurants investing in refits and new appliances to satisfy consumer demand for greater visibility of restaurant kitchens.

Cooking equipment represents the largest sector with around 50% of the market value, partly due to the high cost of cooking products. Refrigeration also accounts for a significant share, with steel fabrication, warewashing and other products making up the remaining market value. Key product trends include increasing demand for more compact, energy efficient versatile catering equipment, a general requirement for more energy efficient products and the demand for fast, high volume cooking solutions such as combi ovens and accelerated cooking ovens.

The specialist distributors, designers and installers that make up the bulk of the supply chain have seen the largest distributors improving their market share at the expense of smaller competitors, according to AMA. Bespoke solutions are still popular, particularly for steel fabrication and ventilation. Due to the mature nature of the market, larger distributors are looking to increase their market share by further adding installation and design services to their portfolio.

Some of the key factors influencing the market in the medium to longer term include the growing number of tourists visiting the UK, with the reduction in value of the Pound making the UK a more affordable destination. Continuing growth in the café/coffee shop market should also provide a major boost for the UK foodservice market overall. In addition, new regulations to govern the ventilation requirements for solid fuel cooking appliances should drive growth in this sector of the market.

Factors negatively affecting market growth include the economic uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The major chains are likely to remain cautious regarding expansion plans and pricing pressures are influencing manufacturers as a result of the weaker Pound and rising material costs. AMA noted that distributors are increasingly selling equipment online, with players such as Amazon entering into the UK catering equipment market, introducing further competition


Petroc Pavilion College – Devon

Our design criteria was to be fun, fitting an up and coming college for young people. This was designed to sit within the centre of the glass conservatory. We manufactured the square counter to give access from all sides with a central preparation area. We used contrasting colours of Fiesta Reef on the corners and a timber front with a concrete slab looking top with a down stand which enabled us to illuminate underneath the top to give the added WOW factory and finished the design off with stainless steel catering equipment.


Liverpool Women’s Hospital – Liverpool

Design brief was to create a ‘Starbucks’ coffee outlet in the newly refurbished main entrance to Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Design criteria to include small prep area to rear with limited cooking. We manufactured the prep area counter tops in Staron Pebble Ice which is a solid surface material also we made the counter top to drop half way down the front of the counter as requested by the client. This material has no joints that are seen once this is sanded. The catering equipment supplied was mainly in stainless steel to give a nice contrast to the Oak front counters leaving the area looking inviting, fresh and clean.

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Scunthorpe Hospital – Catering Facility

This challenging design was to create a kitchen within a kitchen for the public restaurant. The design encompassed a full flow food hall with hot and cold areas plus central tabling for fruit and a special juice bar, all to be contained within its own lockable enclosed area. We manufactured the counters in the contrasting gloss white and black tops which shows off the curves of the main counters along with the olive green walls gives a fresh and inviting look to the area and finishing off with the stainless steel catering equipment.


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Airbus – Brize Norton

We were charged with two designs on two separate floors, both designs were to be similar in style and services. The designs were to be clean and fresh so we manufactured the counters in gloss White and gloss black tops giving the kitchen area a fresh look and finished off the design with stainless steel catering equipment which gives a neat and stylish look.