A drive to make takeaway meals more healthy is paying off in Kirklees.
The council’s Food Safety Team have been working with takeaway owners to create healthy food by running free masterclasses for local businesses.
And the results include a cut in salt levels, poaching instead of frying and reduced sugar drinks.
Britons spend an average of £1,320 each year on takeaways - that’s 12 takeaways per person per month. Takeaways are often cheap, convenient and satisfying, but unfortunately, they are not always very healthy. They have no food labelling to show how much fat, salt, sugar and calories are being consumed and exceeding daily maximum amounts can lead to a variety of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Takeaway owners across Kirklees have been encouraged to follow simple steps to produce healthier menu options without compromising on taste.
And six weeks after attending the sessions the Food Safety Team caught up with attendees to see if they had changed anything as a result of the class and found that many had.
• lowered the salt content in mushy peas, batter and curry sauce
• swapped the use of a standard salt to a lower sodium alternative
• started to offer the option of poached fish as an alternative to the traditional deep fried version
• increased the amount of fresh vegetables in stir fry dishes
• changed their stock of thin French fries to a chunkier chip (they absorb less fat)
• offered a diet / reduced sugar drink alternative for customers, and
Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Clr Viv Kendrick, said: “With our takeaway masterclasses we hope to make a real difference to the health of Kirklees residents. The classes are a great opportunity for takeaway owners to learn the secrets of healthier frying techniques and good oil management, as well as vital hints and tips on how to make healthier swaps when preparing or cooking food.
“As well as contributing to the health of Kirklees communities, these techniques could save businesses money and make them more efficient.”
Kirklees takeaway owners with a hygiene rating of three or above can book on to the next ‘takeaway masterclass’ on Wednesday, October 22, 9.30am-12.30pm at Dewsbury Town Hall by calling 01484 416883.