Blog & Current news #catering


Office catering Birmingham Blog, with information for all your catering needs from Trenchers, including information on sustainability, allergens, portions, hygiene inspections.

10May

Office catering laws for caterers in 2021.


 

Trenchers catering in Birmingham will be making all allergen information available on every  platter we deliver moving forward, due to the change in the law which takes effect from 2021, ensuring we meet all standards set by the UK Government.


Thank you to The British Sandwich Association for sending us the below law change and for all the advise.

 


 

COMPLYING WITH THE NEW ALLERGEN LABELLING REGULATIONS

 

 

 

After 1st October 2021, all pre-packaged foods sold in foodservice outlets (that packed the food) will be required by law to be labelled with the name of the product and an ingredients list, with any allergens highlighted. 

 


 

This new legislation brings the foodservice sector closer in line with the requirements for packaged foods sold through retail outlets.

 


 

Allergens

 

 

 

There are currently 14 allergens which are required by law to be listed (see addendum 1).  These are ingredients which have been identified as causing illness, allergic reactions and in some cases severe illness and occasionally death.

 


 

The Regulations

 

 

 

The new regulations amend the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR) which requires food businesses to adhere to Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 and ensure that all mandatory food allergen information is accurate, available and easily accessible to their customers.

 


 

Currently foodservice businesses are able to provide this information in a number of ways, including orally on request, but are not required to print it on labels.   From 1st October 2021 all foods that are pre-packed (except those that are loose and packed at the request of the customer) must be labelled with the name of the product and an ingredients list with any allergens highlighted clearly – emphasised, usually in bold lettering.

 


 

What does Prepacked Mean?

 

 

 

Basically, prepacked means any item of food that is put into a pack before it is put on sale, whether it is self-selected by the customer or served across a counter.

 


 

The only exceptions are products that are put into a bag or packaging after being chosen/bought by the customer...

 


 

This brings within the scope of the legislation products such as pre-weight cheeses and meats sold in a delicatessen as well as products like fresh pizzas sold from a deli counter in a supermarket.

 


 


 


 

Liability

 

 

 

Businesses convicted of failing to give allergen information under the new regulations, or providing false information, face the risk of unlimited fines by magistrates as well as potential damages if consumers suffer as a result.  Local Authorities can also serve improvement notices for not listing ingredients correctly.

 


 

Cross Contamination Risks (Voluntary labelling)

 

 

 

Although a particular product recipe may not include a specific allergen, if any of the 14 prescribed allergens are used in the business, there may be a risk that small traces may get into the product accidentally.  

 


 

Because tiny amounts of a food ingredient can cause a reaction in some people who suffer from intolerances (for instance a fragment of peanut or a couple of sesame seeds can be enough) businesses should consider the risks of cross contamination.  This should be done by undertaking a meaningful risk assessment.

 


 

If this risk assessment identifies an issue, it is strongly recommended that all labels  include a meaningful risk statement which any customer will understand specific to the food such as – ‘Please be aware that our businesses uses sesame seeds in preparing food which is not stated as an ingredient on this food.  Please ask for further details’

 

 

 

 Labelling Requirements

 

 

 

The law requires that all mandatory allergen information must be easily visible, clearly legible and not obscured in any way, such as hidden under a fold in the packaging or visually difficult to read due to poor lettering or colour contrast.

 


 

Under the new regulations if a product contains any of the 14 mandatory allergens, these must be highlighted clearly in the list of ingredients.    This is generally done by printing the allergens in bold type, in capital letters, in contrasting colours or by underlining them.

 


 

The ingredient list (including any allergens) has to be a minimum font size where x-height is 1.2mm or more.   The only exceptions to this are if the product packaging surface is less than 80cm2, in which case the x-height can be reduced to 0.9mm, and if it is less than 10 cm2 (e.g. a single portion sachet of sauce) in which case the ingredient list can be omitted and provided by other means.

 


 

See Addendum 2 for examples.

 


 

It should be noted that the regulations do not allow alternative allergen statements, such as ‘Contains: wheat, egg and milk’.   The specific allergens must be highlighted within the ingredient list.

 


 

What Information must be provided

 

 

 

The following information must be provided on the label or menu etc.:

 


 

The name of the product – This must provide consumers with an accurate description of the product.

 
  1. If there is a name prescribed in law this must be used.  In practice this is only likely to apply to sandwiches and food to go products containing certain seafood, fish and meat products as ingredients; or
  2. Where there is no name prescribed in law, a customary name may be used.   This might be a name that has become commonly understood by consumers and established over time such as BLT –bacon, lettuce and tomato); or
  3. Where no customary name exists, a name that is sufficiently descriptive to inform the consumer of the true nature of the food and to enable it to be distinguished from products with which it might otherwise be confused.
 

Most sandwiches and food to go products will fall into category 3 and require a descriptive name. Further guidance on the true names of sandwiches and food to go products is set out in Addendums 3 and 4.

 

 

 

A list of the constituent ingredients, with any allergens highlighted – All the ingredients used in making the product must be listed in descending order by the weight of each at the time the product was made, and they must be shown under a heading ‘Ingredients’.   Because of the manual nature of foodservice businesses, it is generally accepted that some of the quoted quantities will be subject to variation. Businesses are, however, expected to control ingredients proportions as accurately as is reasonably practicable given the size and scale of the business and the available technology.

 


 

In addition:

 


 
  • The name used for an ingredient (excluding brand names) must be the name that would be used for the ingredient if it was being sold in its own right.

  • Where compound ingredients are used (i.e. products comprising a number of different ingredients) the full list of those constituent ingredients must be included.  This can either be done by stating the compound ingredient name followed by (in brackets) its ingredient list or by omitting the compound ingredient name and giving one combined ingredients list. Some compound ingredients can be listed as generic names only (e.g. cheese).

  • There are some exemptions allowed for a few ingredients that are present in amounts of less than 2% of the product as sold. These are:
 

ingredients for which their composition is prescribed in EC Law (i.e. honey, jam)

 

herbs and spices or mixtures of both

 

foods which do not require an ingredients list (e.g. cheese, butter)

 

For these ingredients only the compound food name and any additives or allergens they contain need to be listed.

 


 

What must be highlighted

 

 

 

Care needs to be taken when highlighting the allergens that the correct allergen is highlighted as required under the law.   For example, if a product contains ‘wheatflour’, only the word ‘wheat’ has to be highlighted – so it could appear either as ‘wheatflour’ on the label or ‘wheatflour’.   

 


 

However, if the allergen appears as a single word within an ingredient – such as ‘Skimmed milk concentrate’ only the word ‘milk’ should be highlighted.

 


 

Additional care also needs to be taken where an ingredient is referred to under an alternative name to ensure that any allergens are similarly identified.  For example, ‘gingelly oil (Sesame) or edamame beans (soya).

 


 

Delivered Food

 

 

 

The new rules do not alter the requirements for food that is sold remotely, such as via deliveries.  In this case, if the order is placed remotely, such as via a website or telephone, the information about allergens must be provided at the point of purchase as well as being available at the moment of delivery.

 


 

In the case of websites, customers should be provided with ingredients including allergen information at the point they make the decision and before payment is made.    In this case the only information that needs to be provided is the list of allergens as there is no requirement for an ingredient list for foods sold by distant selling.

 


 

Where orders are placed over the telephone, those taking the orders should have information about allergens they can refer to and should ask every customer if they have any intolerances and inform them of any allergens that the product they are ordering may contain.

 


 

In both the above cases, if there is any risk of cross contamination, this should also be made clear to customers.

 


 

In addition, the regulations also require that information about ingredients and allergens must also be available at moment of delivery.  This can be done by labelling the product, on a menu that is delivered with the product, verbally by those making the deliveries or by providing a telephone number on the packaging that customers can call for the information.

 


 

In all the above cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information provided is accurate and the allergen information must be clearly linked to the individual product it relates to.

 


 

Platters, Buffets and Lunch Boxes Etc.

 

 

 

Where multiple varieties of product are supplied, such as platters of sandwiches and cakes etc., the same information about ingredients and allergens must be provided in a way that ensures that the information is visible to those consuming the products.   For example, this might be done on a display card, in the case of a buffet, or a menu listing the products and their constituent ingredients/allergens.   However, the allergen information must be provided for each food item (dish) and not a as generic statement.

 


 

Again, any cross-contamination risks should be highlighted.

 


 

Non Prepackaged Foods

 

 

 

The above rules also apply to non-prepacked foods, such as meals served in a café or canteen, although in this case the information can be provided “in a manner that is easily accessible’ to the consumer, including orally.   This means it can be provided on a display card or menu positioned close to the food items or consumers can be signposted to where it can be found, such as ‘ask a member of staff’.

 


 

Signposting must be clearly visible and legible but where it is located is not specified. It could, therefore, be highlighted on menus, chalkboards, order tickets, labels etc.

 


 

In the case of non-prepackaged food, there is no requirement to provide a full ingredient list, but allergen information must be highlighted.   So, a chicken tikka sandwich served on a buffet could simply be labelled ‘Chicken Tikka (contains milk, nuts (almonds)’

 

Where businesses decide to provide allergen information orally, they are responsible for ensuring that the staff are suitably trained and that the information they provide is accurate. 

 


 

The best policy is to have the full ingredient list in written format, with allergens highlighted, on a chart or recipe sheet which can be handed to customers if they ask about allergens.   This is particularly important if a member of staff or customer does not speak English as their first language.

 


 

 

 

Catering and Sampling

 

 

 

Allergen information must also be provided where food is given away for sampling purposes or provided for an event, such as a lunch for a meeting or conference.

 


 

In this case, it is treated as loose foods and the information can be provided either in writing or by signposting (see above).

 

 

 

Obligation on Suppliers

 

 

 

The regulations place an obligation both on the suppliers of ingredients and on the food business operator to make sure that accurate information on allergens and ingredients is passed on to consumers.

 


 

Just as foodservice operators must ensure their customers have the information, so suppliers are obliged to provide accurate ingredients and allergen information to the food businesses they supply.

 


 

However, under the regulations, the businesses buying the ingredients are also held responsible for ensuring that they get this information from the suppliers.   In other words, not knowing is not a defence.

 


 

Identifying Allergens in Supplied Ingredients

 

 

 

Foodservice operators should be able to rely on the labelling used on products supplied to them to identify the ingredients and allergens they need to declare.   However, care should be taken to ensure that suppliers do provide this information.

 


 

Particular care needs to be taken, however, to ensure that ingredient declarations are updated if the business changes suppliers or uses a substitute brand.

 


 

Equipment Needed

 

 

 

In order to label products, businesses will generally need a computer with a labelling programme and a printer.   Alternatively, ready printed labels can be purchased but be aware that this gives no flexibility for making amendments if an ingredient changes.

 


 

As ingredient labelling is a legal requirement, it is also important to consider the risks of equipment breaking down, so it is worth thinking about a computer support service and/or having back-up equipment available rather than risking letting customers down if there is a breakdown.

 


 

A number of software solutions are available that will provide systems that will do most of the work for you but take care that they are tried and tested systems by getting references from other users.

 


 

 

 

Useful Guidance and Free Training

 

 

 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published guidance on allergen labelling which can be found at https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses

 


 

The FSA  has also published a helpful checklist for food businesses on handling allergens https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-checklist-for-food-businesses   

 


 

It is also offering free on-line training for businesses operators and staff at https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergy-training-for-food-businesses

 


 


 


 


 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 1: 

 

 

 

ALLERGENS THAT MUST BE DECLARED

 


 

1. Cereals containing gluten (i.e. wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut or their hybridised strains); except for

 

(a) wheat-based glucose syrups, including dextrose#

 

(b) wheat-based maltodextrins#

 

(c) glucose syrups based on barley

 

(d) cereals used for making distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages.

 

Note:  It is the specific name of the cereal (e.g. Rye) that must be highlighted.  Businesses can also voluntarily include reference to gluten (containing gluten) but this should not be highlighted.

 

2. Crustaceans and products thereof (e.g. prawns, crabs, lobster, crayfish etc.)

 

Note:  The regulations do not specify the names of specific crustaceans, so the rules apply to all crustaceans.    These should be declared as, for example, prawns (crustaceans).

 

3. Eggs and products thereof

 

Note:  Where eggs are used as a constituent ingredient, such as in mayonnaise, they must be declared as ‘mayonnaise (eggs).

 

4. Fish, except for

 

(a) fish gelatine used as a carrier for vitamin or carotenoid preparations

 

(b) fish gelatine or isinglass used as a fining agent in beer and wine

 

Note:  As the regulations do not specify the names of specific fish, the rules apply to all species of fish.    These should be declared as, for example, salmon (fish).

 

5. Peanuts and products thereof

 

Note:  Often referred to as groundnuts (not to be confused with ground/powdered nuts such as almonds) or monkey nuts, the term peanuts must be used in relation to all products in this category, including both refined and unrefined peanut oil.

 

6. Soybeans and products thereof, except for:

 

(a) fully refined soya bean oil and fat#

 

(b) natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate from soya bean sources

 

(c) vegetable oils derived from phytosterol esters from soya bean sources

 

(d) plant sterol ester produced from vegetable oil sterols from soya bean sources.

 

Note:  Care needs to be taken to declare soya in relation to products such as tofu and edamame which are derivatives  of soya.   These should be declared as ‘tofu (soya)’ of ‘edamame (soya)’

 

7. Milk and products thereof (including lactose); except for

 

(a) whey used for making distillates or ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin for spirit drinks and other alcoholic beverages

 

(b) lactitol

 

Note:  In terms of the regulations, the term ‘milk’ applies to all types of milk whether from cow, goat, buffalo etc.   However, because consumers recognise milk products such as cheese, butter and cream, these ingredients do not have to have an ingredients list so long as no other ingredients have been added to them other than lactic acid, food enzymes, microbiological cultures and (in the case of cheese) salt.  Under the rules these milk products can be highlighted in their own right (e.g. butter).   However, it is generally considered good practice to treat these like any other allergen and highlight the milk – e.g. ‘butter (milk)’

 

8. Nuts, namely almonds (Amygdalus communis L.), hazelnuts (Corylus avellana), walnuts (Juglans regia), cashews (Anacardium occidentale), pecan nuts (Carya illinoisis (Wangenh) K.Koch), brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa), pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera), macadamia or Queensland nuts (Macadamia ternifolia)

 

Note:  Whether nuts are a core ingredient or a constituent part of another ingredient, they must listed and the type of nut emphasised (e.g. almonds or ‘flavourings (almond).

 

9. Celery and products thereof (includes celeriac, celery spice, celery seeds etc.)

 

Note: This requirement includes all parts and forms of the celery plant, including items such as celery salt and celery oil. 

 

10. Mustard and products thereof

 

Note: The regulations do not name any particular types of mustard and, therefore, must be applied to all types.

 

11. Sesame seeds and products thereof

 

Note: The regulations do not name any particular types of sesame seed and care must be taken to include derived products, such as tahini – e.g. tabhini (sesame).

 

12. Sulphur dioxide and sulphites (at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10mg/litre expressed as SO²)

 

13. Lupin and products thereof

 

14. Molluscs and products thereof (includes mussels, oysters, whelks, scallops etc.)

 

# The exception only applies to products derived from these products in so far as the process they have undergone is not likely to increase the level of allergenicity assessed by the European Food Safety Authority for the relevant product from which they originated.

 


 

ADDENDUM 2

 


 

HOW TO MEASURE X-HEIGHT

 

 

 


 

The regulations require that the font size used to list ingredients on a label must have an x-height of at least 1.2mm.  The only exceptions to this are if the product packaging surface is less than 80cm2, in which case the x-height can be reduced to 0.9mm, and if it is less than 10 cm2 (e.g. a single portion sachet of sauce) in which case the ingredient list can be omitted and provided by other means.

 


 

The x-height is the difference between the top and bottom of a lower-case x in whatever typeface you are using.

 

 

 


 

 

The following are a few examples of 1.2mm x-heights in different fonts.

 


 

Arial: 6.5 point

 

Arial Black: 6.5 point

 

Calibri: 7.5 point

 

Cooper Black: 7 point

 

Courier New: 8 point

 

Tahoma: 6.5 point

 

Times New Roman: 7.5 point

 


 


 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 3:

 

FOOD NAMES

 

1. General Principles

 

Bread: From the nature of their preparation and presentation, the consumer is usually visually able to determine when white wheat flour bread has been used in sandwiches and food to go products and, where this is so, it is not generally necessary to specify this type of bread in the name of a sandwich. However, for other types of bread where the nature of the bread is not visually clear and can easily be confused, the type of bread and/or the species of grain used should be included in the full name (e.g. malted brown bread, oatmeal bread etc.).

 

NOTE: “Wholemeal” and “Wheat germ” have specific meanings as defined in the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998. 

 

Compositional Standards: Certain ingredients have legal compositional standards set out in other legislation, such as the Products Containing Meat etc. Regulations 2014. Where there is a compositional standard, there are often reserved descriptions for products meeting a specified composition. In these circumstances, the reserved description/name should be used as part of the name of the sandwich. Examples of such ingredients include many meat products, such as corned beef, sausages and burgers as well as cheeses, such as Cheddar and Gloucester. It should be noted that these names may only be used for products meeting these compositional standards.

 

Protected Names: Some names have a protected status under PDO/PGI/TSG legislation which can cover origin, method of production and composition. The protected name may only be used where a product meets all the conditions of the protection and must be used as the name. PDO relates to protected designations of origin; PGI relates to protected geographical indications; and TSF relates to traditional speciality guaranteed.

 

Name of the Food: There is no requirement for the name of the sandwich to reiterate the ingredients list but the name should accurately describe the product and inform the consumer about the key value or characterising ingredients. As a general rule the way in which ingredients are named by ingredient suppliers will act as a guide to how the sandwich itself should be described.

 

Ingredient Names: These should not be changed or enhanced. For example:

 
  • brown bread should not be described as “wholemeal”
  • margarine and other fat spreads should not be described as “butter”
  • cheese substitutes should not be described as “cheese”
  • processed cheese should not be described as “cheese”
  • cured pork shoulder should not be described as “ham”
  • chicken roll should not be described as “chicken”
  • ham containing added water should not be described as “dry cured”.
 

Processes: Best Practice Guidance

 

Where an ingredient has been subject to a characterising treatment or process care needs to be taken to indicate this accurately and in a manner which cannot mislead. For example:

 
  • steam cooked and flash roasted meats should be described accurately (e.g. cooked and roasted beef) and not be simply described as “roast”;
  • reformed ham must be described must not be described as “traditional”;
  • ham, chicken or turkey containing added water, hydrolysed proteins and starch etc. must be described as such (e.g. processed ham, reformed ham) and not simply as ‘ham’, ‘chicken’ or ‘turkey’;
  • ingredients treated with smoke solution/smoke flavour should be described as ‘smoke flavoured’ and not simply as being “smoked” without further qualification.
 
 

 

 

ADDENDUM 4: 

 

SUMMARY OF DEFRA/FSA ADVICE ON THE LABELLING OF SANDWICHES AND FOOD TO GO PRODUCTS CONTAINING MEAT INGREDIENTS

 

For both prepacked and non-prepacked sandwiches and food to go products, apart from where sandwiches and food to go products are made and sold at catering establishments, a true nature name of the food is legally required.

 

It is good practice for the true nature name of the food to be stated next to the fancy name. This is consistent with the FSA Clear Food Labelling Guidelines.

 

Where the true nature name of the food is not placed next to the fancy name, or is not sufficiently prominent to be easily seen, then best practice is for the fancy name to be more informative to provide sufficient information for consumers to make a reasoned choice.

 

It is considered good practice for catering establishments to be similarly explicit on any menus, tickets or notice boards.

 

It is a legal requirement to make the following clear on labels:

 
  • Contains added water - where water amounts to over 5% of a product that has the appearance of a cut, joint, slice, portion or carcase of meat or a cut, joint, slice, portion, fillet or of a whole fishery product (e.g. “ham with added water”).
  • Contains proteins of animal origin from a different animal species to that of the meat (e.g. “chicken with pork protein”, “ham with milk protein”).
  • State when meat is reformed (e.g. “reformed ham”, “chicken roll”, “processed ham”).
 
 

 

 

References:

  

Read More
13Mar

Coronavirus update from BSA.

We Have received a helpful guide for small  business and clients alike from The British sandwich association...

  • A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses. 

 

  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
  • A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree abespoke Time to Pay arrangement

 

  • There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2bn.
  • Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

 

  •  
  •  
  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective

 

Please send this information to intel@beis.gov.uk.  We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly. 

 

 Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced a ban mass gatherings of over 500 people to free up emergency staff but there are currently no similar plans in the rest of the UK.

 

A new helpline has been launched to supply Scottish businesses with tailored advice on coronavirus.


It will be open Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 17:30, based at Scottish Enterprise's call centre in Clydebank.


Call handlers will answer questions from businesses related to Covid-19 as well as relaying the challenges faced by businesses to the Scottish government.


The helpline number is 0300 303 0660.

Read More
13Feb

Food hygiene best practices and what scores on the doors mean.


 

Do you know the environment you buy or eat your food from? 

 

What are “food hygiene ratings” 

 

 


The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 which is displayed at their premises and online so you can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.

5 – hygiene standards are very good

4 – hygiene standards are good

3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory

2 – some improvement is necessary

1 – major improvement is necessary

0 – urgent improvement is required

 

Do you know where to search a business premises?  

 

https://ratings.food.gov.uk/

 

What the rating covers

Ratings are a snapshot of the standards of food hygiene found at the time of inspection. It is the responsibility of the business to comply with food hygiene law at all times.

This includes:

• handling of food
• how food is stored
• how food is prepared
• cleanliness of facilities
• how food safety is managed

The food hygiene rating scheme does not provide information on the following factors:

• quality of the food  
• customer service  
• culinary skill  
• presentation  
• comfort

For suspected food poisoning, seek medical advice from your GP and

contact your local environmental health or food safety team

 

 

 

Good hygiene practices

 

Hand washing… Something so simple! but a lot of people don’t wash their hands correctly

 

 

 

Follow these five steps every time.

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

 By Marie Jones 

 


 

Read More
23Sep

The Difference a good caterer makes to your event.


 

There are numerous corporate functions during which hiring a caterer would be beneficial for everyone. Generally speaking, fed employees are happy employees and that’s cause to consider hiring out for a business meeting, retirement party or maybe even a special office anniversary. Hiring a company like Trenchers Catering takes care of all of the work involved with making your employees and coworkers feel thought of – Undeniably, food makes an impression and brings people together.

As much as we hate to admit it, our lives tend to revolve around breaks and meal times both in and out of the office. Think back to your latest function, do you remember the food?

Of course you do!

Everyone always remembers the food! Food brings people together and it has the innate ability to make a meeting an occasion. It can add to a function or just as quickly take away from it so hiring a professional to take care of the preparation and logistics helps you do your own job better.  Imagine walking into your next deal meeting or presentation with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee dancing around the room and a spread of pastries and fruit to lighten the mood. Everyone appreciates a pick-me-up and with Trenchers Catering you can trust that when the atmosphere is dry, the food won’t be.

When you’re preparing for corporate events the utmost importance is how you’re treating your guests and employees. You want to portray the company well so you clean up, dress well, decorate accordingly, prepare slides and handouts but one of the best things you can do is make a good impression with the sustenance you’re offering. A good selection of refreshments or a well put together meal shows your employees, partners and guests that you care about both their well-being and that they enjoy their time spent with you.

From small office meetings to large corporate events, the right food can improve overall morale and help keep attendees focused and engaged. Catered events help build relationships and that’s what business is all about. Sitting down with a hot cup of coffee or to share a meal brings us all back to just being people, working together to build something wonderful – your company. Trust Trenchers Catering to help you host or celebrate and leave the food to us. You know business and we know food. With catering companies like ours, plenty of dietary restrictions can be accommodated and we are happy to take the planning off of your plate and provide services to your satisfaction when you need them most.  Make good food a part of the experience of working with your company.

Read More
30May

The importance of good caterers to your events.

The Importance of a good caterer for your office event:
One of the most important factors that add colour to your event is food. This is a natural phenomenon, everybody likes food. The quality, Choice, preparation and presentation of the food you serve in your event can make the event more colourful and memorable. This is why a large part of the planning stage for your event must be dedicated to planning the food you want to serve your guests. Planning, preparing and serving the food for your events can be quite a difficult task and it is best to employ the services of a corporate catering Company just like Trenchers Catering to help you out with this task.


Some Importance of a good caterer?
Professionalism: One of the benefits or importance of catering for the office environment is that these people are professionals and are experienced in the job. As corporate caterers know how to plan, prepare and present the food to suit your event.
Reduces Workload: Planning an event can be very burdensome and would require your attention for many different tasks at a single time. So it is best to delegate some tasks to professionals to help you out. This will reduce the workload and also maximize the effectiveness in handling other tasks.
Better Presentation: one of the benefits of hiring the services of corporate caterers for your event is that they know how best to package and present your food to reflect the goal of your event. The Professional caterers have already been trained in the art of food presentation. So, choosing the best way to present your food to mirror your event is no big deal.
Conclusion
Apart from being trained in the art, preparation, presentation and service of food to suit your event is important and this is what the team at Trenchers Catering Birmingham are known for. So always put you best foot forward when you a going for a corporate catering because they can make or mar your event

Read More
21Nov

We make 70,000 sandwiches a year,(WOW) would you like to know what fillings we use on a regular basis, then read on......

Here at Trenchers catering in Birmingham we make around 70,000 sandwiches a year, so what are the great fillings that keeps our customers happy and coming back for more?

After many years of many different fillings, we have had many conversations with our customers, and we have come up with a standard set of options that we try to stick to unless requested by a specific customer.


Our meat fillings are as follows:

Ham and tomato 

Ham salad

roast beef and tomato

roast beef salad

turkey salad

mature cheddar and tomato

chicken and sweetcorn

chicken mayo and bacon

chicken and stuffing

tuna mayo and sweetcorn

chicken tikka

coronation chicken

ham and cheese 



Our veg fillings consist of the following....

mature cheddar and tomato

mature cheddar and salad

mature cheddar and Branston pickle salad

egg mayo and salad

brie and cranberry

three cheese and onion in mayo salad

Houmous and roast veg.


Our vegan fillings are as follows......

Roast pepper houmous salad

houmous and roast veg salad

vegan cheese salad


Our halal fillings are as follows...

Chicken tikka

coronation chicken

chicken mayo

tuna mayo


Christmas Fillings:

Turkey and Stuffing,

Turkey cranberry and stuffing

Turkey Cranberry stuffing and bacon,

Roast beef and horseradish

Cheddar and pickle

Smoked salmon and cream cheese,

Brie and Grapes

Brie and Cranberry

Brie bacon and cranberry.




Any filling sugegstions are always welcome, so please ask the team to add your favourite.

Read More
26Sep

How will the Brexit deal and the looming congestion charge effect Trenchers Catering in Birmingham

My alarm went off at a later than normal 3:15am today, and normally that would be great, however, getting up later means we are quieter than usual, Trenchers Catering has been going from strength to strength recently, however, i always have it in mind that things can change at any moment, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit at the moment coupled with looming congestion  charges about to be implemented in Birmingham over the next few month, all i see is challenges.

Office catering in Birmingham has always had great scope for a company to disrupt the market and at Trenchers we try to be innovative with presentation, and production were possible.

We have some great new packaging about to be introduced which will mean we are better branded and also meaning almost 70% of the packaging we will be using will be able to get recycled after use in companies waste paper baskets.


I don't know of any catering company with there own sustainability policy, and even any catering company that can show a real push towards a greener more sustainable product, all our competitors are using hard plastic platters.


The Congestion charge coming it force will mean Trenchers investing in more new refrigerated delivery vans to ensure we are meeting the required targets for emissions in Birmingham.


Brexit will be the big looming issue and hopefully our government will get there act together and get something sorted so we as a small business can continue to thrive in an ever changing and uncertain environment, as we rely on the success of other businesses in the city.



Read More
02Sep

Trenchers caters for around 70,000 people a year and has found still our most popular fillings are BLT,Ham and Cheese.

At Trenchers Catering we make sandwiches for around 70,000 people a year, and in our experience, the simpler the sandwich fillings are the better our customers enjoy them.

Recent article published in the `independent has found the nations favourite sandwich filling is ‘The ‘BLT’, which is most defiantly one of my favourites, however, we have found just plain ham salad or cheese salad, works best when catering for large amounts of people, and as long as we have these fillings on our platters the customers are happy.

Sandwiches have been enjoyed since the 18th century, when the Earl of sandwich first came up with the idea of putting bread and a filling together.

According to new research, the great people of the UK are supposable moving away from the standard classic fillings and are heading towards a more modern avocado sandwich or Brie and grape, which is great, but there will always be a place for the classics.

Over the last 50 years, our tastes have not changed to much, here is what we have been eating….

1970s 

Ham salad

Ham and cheese

Ploughman’s

Cheese and onion

Egg mayonnaise

1980s 

Chicken salad

Tuna mayo

Tuna and cucumber

BLT

Tuna salad

1990s 

BLT

Tuna mayo

Chicken mayo

Tuna salad

Chicken Club

2000s

Smoked salmon and cream cheese

Chicken mayo

Brie and cranberry

Salmon and prawn

Brie and grape

2010s

Hummus and falafel

BBQ pulled pork

Avocado

Chicken and avocado

Brie and grape

All these fillings are available on Trenchers menus at. all times and generally will get rotated daily to add to variety.

I would also like to add the Coronation chicken and chicken tikka, to the nations favourite as these are always been requested by my customers

 

READ MORE

How the humble sandwich has stood the test of time

Warburtons have asked 2000 people to take part in a study which found according to the research, the most popular sandwich filling of the 1970s was ham salad, with chicken salad reigning supreme in the 1980s.

The BLT followed as the most desirable sandwich of choice in the 1990s, with participants opting for a fishier filling in the 2000s with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

However, in recent years it seems that more Britons have been opting for plant-based alternatives, as the hummus and falafel sandwich- however this is down to what I believe is the Vegan effect.

51% of chefs in America are adding Vegan options to their menus.

Do most people describe a sandwich as their favourite meal, these studies suggest so.

Darren Littler, innovation director at Warburtons, explains that the study demonstrates the nation’s desire to be more experimental in the kitchen.

“Whilst the humble sandwich has remained a classic UK favourite over the decades, it’s interesting to see the fillings that fall in and out of favour in line with trends and preferences,” he says.

 “Now, with a vastly increased number of choices compared to years gone by, more adventurous fillings are now clearly the order of the day for many Brits, with corned beef no longer cutting the mustard.”

Read More
19Jun

The planned congestion charge and how it will effect Trenchers catering.

What effect will the congestion charge have on Trenchers Catering?

In 2020 Birmingham will need to have changed their pollution levels in the city to acceptable levels or face a hefty fine of up to £60 Million pounds, now we all know that Birmingham city council have struggled to manage the ongoing needs of the Birmingham population on a normal government budget, however, with this fine looming, the congestion charge will be implemented swiftly, and will cause a lot of bother to a small business’s that needs to go in and out of the city on a daily basis.

Trenchers are a small business and we already have to pay quite a lot in parking and fuel costs, so with the proposed cost of between £8 and £10 per day per van to get into the city, we will need to find a minimum of £3650 per year per van. This is a significant amount of money and will mean either not going in to the city for business (which would be almost company suicide) or passing on the extra cost to the customers, which we all know is a really difficult proposition, with money for catering being very tight as it is.

Looking at the issue of pollution in general around the city centre, I would love to know what the pollution levels are like when not at peak times, as what I find is the roads around the city are almost empty from between 10am and 3pm, and in this respect we are not like the centre of London where you would find constant heavy traffic all across the day.

I selfishly believe that the city would benefit from a peak time congestion charge, which would be more of an encouragement for the average worker to use public transport instead of their cars, but then also not push already hard up businesses who need to come in and out of the city numerous times a day to have to pick between work and extra business costs.

I’m not an expert, and I also know we are all in this together, so will abide by whatever congestion charge is put in place, and hope that this will indeed help the environment and not just be another way for the government and council to extort more money from us all.

Read More
29May

How Trenchers Caters for so many companies at once.

How do we cater for multiple companies?

At Trenchers we work really hard to plan and deliver wonderful, fresh locally sourced catering to a great number of corporate clients in and around Birmingham.

The first thing we need is an order, at this moment in time the most popular form or ordering is via email,  and the information we take from each order is as follows…..

Company name, address, telephone number, email address, what the company would like to order and a delivery time, if this is a new customer, these details will be inputted to our accounts software(we use Kashflow, however there are many others to choice from like SAGE, or QuickBooks).

How we go about this, takes quite a lot of explaining….

At any one time, we can caterer for up to 50 companies in a single day, to accomplish this we have to break down every order in to as small a number as possible and re configure it all into a grid planning system,

This system will consist of multiple rows and column, with each column, being a company and each row will have the items to be made and platted up.

                               Company a   company b company c

Meat sandwich

Veg sandwich

Meat savory

Veg savory

Cake

Fruit

Crisps

Drinks

Special requirements

Using the above system we can not only break down an order, but also split the order for each caterer to have their own section and can easily work along the line and do multiple orders at once, platting and labelling each order as they are made and placed in the respective fridges.

From this planner sheet, we also take the total number of meat and veg sandwiches and the total number of meat and veg savories, and these get made separately and placed in the fridge, and get platted up when they have cooled down to below 5c in the case of the savories or in the case of the sandwiches, when all the baguettes, wraps and special requirements have been made and then we can start plating the sandwiches up to the customers specification.

The production side of things can mean a very early start for everyone at Trenchers, so once all the orders are made and in their specific fridges, we will take a break, so we can work out all the delivery runs and who will be doing what and where.

After a break we spend some time putting all the mixed up buffets in to the individual customers order boxes, and checked via the planner, and then a secondary check via the printed of email, that the company had originally sent over to us. This process takes 4 people almost 30 minutes and has to be done correctly, as this is where mistakes are made and rectified.

Once we are all happy with the lunches, they get loaded up, into our refrigerated vans with temperatures below 5c.

We generally like our delivery drivers to leave at 10am, as most customers like their lunches delivered between 11am and 12pm. We cover the whole of Birmingham, so the earlier we leave the better we deliver on time, I do love the saying “if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late and to be late is unacceptable.”

At the point of delivery the delivery, the driver will take the van temperature and note the time of delivery, and the customer will sign the delivery form acknowledging the delivery time and van temperature.

Read More
24May

Trenchers Takes GDPR seriously, and as such have now published our Data Protection Policy, on the following blog. We only store basic customer details used only for invoices and confirmations, all customer data can be deleted at a push of a button upon request.

Data Protection Policy 

Policy statement

Trenchers Catering is committed to a policy of protecting the rights and privacy of individuals, voluntary and community group members, volunteers staff and others in accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998. The policy applies to all voluntary and community group members and staff at the community Centre. Any breach of The Data Protection Act 1998 or The Community Centre Data Protection Policy is considered to be an offence and in that event, disciplinary procedures apply.

As a matter of good practice, other organisations and individuals working with the Centre, and who have access to personal information, will be expected to have read and comply with this policy. It is expected that any staff who deal with external organisations will take responsibility for ensuring that such organisations sign a contract agreeing to abide by this policy.

 

Legal Requirements

Data are protected by the Data Protection Act 1998, which came into effect on 1 March 2000. Its purpose is to protect the rights and privacy of individuals and to ensure that personal data are not processed without their knowledge, and, wherever possible, is processed without their consent.

The Act requires us to register the fact that we hold personal data and to acknowledge the right of ‘subject access’ – voluntary and community group members and staff must have the right to copies of their own data.

 

Managing Data Protection

We  will ensure that our details are registered with the Information Commissioner.

 

Purpose of data held by the Community Association

Data may be held by us for the following purposes:

1.   Staff Administration

2.   Fundraising

3.   Realising the Objectives of a Charitable Organisation or Voluntary Body

4.   Accounts & Records

5.   Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations

6.   Information and Databank Administration

7.   Journalism and Media

8.   Processing For Not For Profit Organisations

9.   Research

10. Volunteers

 

Data Protection Principles

In terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, we are the ‘data controller’, and as such determine the purpose for which, and the manner in which, any personal data are, or are to be, processed. We must ensure that we have:

Fairly and lawfully processed personal data

 will always put our logo on all paperwork, stating their intentions on processing the data and state if, and to whom, we intend to give the personal data. Also provide an indication of the duration the data will be kept.

 

Processed for limited purpose

We will not use data for a purpose other than those agreed by data subjects (voluntary and community group members, staff and others). If the data held by us are requested by external organisations for any reason, this will only be passed if data subjects (voluntary and community group members, staff and others) agree. Also external organisations must state the purpose of processing, agree not to copy the data for further use and sign a contract agreeing to abide by The Data Protection Act 1998 and (your name here) Data Protection Policy.

Adequate, relevant and not excessive

The Association  will monitor the data held for our purposes, ensuring we hold neither too much nor too little data in respect of the individuals about whom the data are held. If data given or obtained are excessive for such purpose, they will be immediately deleted or destroyed.

Accurate and up-to-date

We will provide our members (voluntary and community group members, staff and others) with a copy of their data once a year for information and updating where relevant. All amendments will be made immediately and data no longer required will be deleted or destroyed. It is the responsibility of individuals and organisations to ensure the data held by us are accurate and up-to-date. Completion of an appropriate form( provided by us) will be taken as an indication that the data contained are accurate. Individuals should notify us of any changes, to enable personnel records to be updated accordingly. It is the responsibility of the Association to act upon notification of changes to data, amending them where relevant.

Not kept longer than necessary

We discourage the retention of data for longer than it is required. All personal data will be deleted or destroyed by us after one year of non membership has elapsed.

Processed in accordance with the individual’s rights         

All individuals that the Association hold data on have the right to:

Be informed upon the request of all the information held about them within 40 days.

Prevent the processing of their data for the purpose of direct marketing.

Compensation if they can show that they have been caused damage by any contravention of the Act.

The removal and correction of any inaccurate data about them.

Secure
Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of data.


All Association computers have a log in system and our Contact Database is password protected, which allow only authorised staff to access personal data. Passwords on all computers are changed frequently. All personal and financial data is kept in a locked filing cabinet and can only be accessed by the Executive officers. When  staff members are using the laptop computers out of the office care should always be taken to ensure that personal data on screen is not visible to strangers.

Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area, unless the country has adequate protection for the individual.

Data must not be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area without the explicit consent of the individual.  The Association takes particular care to be aware of this when publishing information on the Internet, which can be accessed from anywhere in the globe. This is because transfer includes placing data on a web site that can be accessed from outside the European Economic Area.

Read More
03May

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions - updated 03/05/2018

Orders must be placed by 4pm the day before delivery. Cancellations can only be accepted if made by 5pm the day before delivery Deliveries will be made between 10:00am and 12:30pm unless previously agreed Occasionally due to seasonal variation or availability we may have to substitute certain items with items of a similar or higher value Payment terms are strictly 14 days Late payments will be subject to collection fees and interest as prescribed by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 2002


In these Terms and Conditions “Trenchers Catering” means Kincaid 1875 Limited t/a Trenchers and “the Client” means the person or company booking the event.

Quotations

Written quotations are valid for 3 months from the date of quotation and may be subject to change following a site visit or further information gathering. All prices are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. All quotations contain fixed costs which will not be reduced if the final number of guests is less than originally quoted for.

Confirmation

email confirmation of any event will be taken as acceptance of  Terms and Conditions.

Menu Prices and Numbers

Menu prices quoted by Trenchers are prepared on the basis of specific numbers of guests; and are subject to a minimum of 5 guests. All prices are based on costs prevailing at the time of the quotation and are conditional upon market availability. Prices are subject to variation in the event of changes to numbers of guests.

Confirmation of final numbers must be given not later than 3pm on the  working day prior to the event, after which time any decrease in numbers cannot be accepted and the full charge will be made. Trenchers will notify the Client promptly of any price changes or variations to the quotation.

Final Numbers

Invoices are based on the final numbers confirmed not later than 3pm on the working day before the function, or on the numbers actually catered for, should this be higher. Should the numbers decrease after 3pm the previous day, original figure will be charged for. Should the numbers rise during this time, we reserve the right to charge a re- booking charge.

Deposit

No Deposite is needed on booking as all bookings are on an invoice basis, with our standard 14 day terms.

Cancellation

If booking is cancelled before 3pm the day before, no charge will be made, however, if the lunch is cancelled on the day of the booking, full invoice amount will be charged.

 

Final Invoice

The final invoice will be sent the morning of the catering, and is payable within 14 days of the date of issue. Payment may be made by sterling ,cheque or direct bank account transfer, or the worldpay link which can be found on the pdf invoice, Kincaid 1875 Limited reserves the right to charge interest at 8% above base rate per annum or the monthly equivalent on all outstanding balances.

Cheques to be made out to Kincaid 1875 Limited t/a Trenchers or Trenchers.

Loss or Damage

Except in the case of the negligent or wilful conduct of Kincaid 1875 Limited, its employees or agents, Kincaid 1875 Limited accepts no liability for any loss caused by Kincaid 1875 failure to perform its obligations. The Client is responsible for any loss or damage to hired equipment, from the time of delivery until collection by Kincaid 1875 Limited, or its sub contractor, or returned by the Client. Any losses or breakages will be charged to the Client at full replacement cost. The Client should, in his own interest, ensure that all such equipment is insured.

Complaints

Any complaint shall be made promptly and in any event must be received at ncaid 1875 Limited Catering’s address in writing not more than 7 days from the date of the event concerned.

Delivery

Any time or date stated by the Company for the delivery or removal of goods required in the provision of services is an estimate only and shall not be an essential term of the contract. Delivery and collection will be attempted to all reasonable areas at the venue or facility. However should the access be restricted or additional time, personnel or facilities required, any additional costs will b passed on to the client.

Read More