Upminster’s healthy chippy recognised by council

An Upminster fish and chip shop has become the first in Havering to commit to offering customers healthy options as part of a new scheme by Havering Council.

The borough is one of the first in London to launch the Healthier Catering Commitment, encouraging resturants to offer healthier choices on their menus.

The scheme, supported by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and supported by the Mayor of London, recognises businesses that cut the amount of saturated fat in their foods as well as offering some healthy options, like lower sugar drinks or smaller portions on request.

The first business to make this commitment and to pass the criteria is Fishy Business II in Corbets Tey Road.

Terry Murphy, part-owner, said he has been providing healthy options like jacket potatoes, salads and grilled fish since the outlet opened 11 years ago.

“I got the idea while speaking to customers while working at our fishmongers opposite our chip shop,” he said, “They’d sometimes ask me to suggest a fish if they were on a diet or had high cholesterol. I realised there was a demand for healthier options and it’s worked really well for us. Fish and chips isn’t necessarily unhealthy if, for example, the correct oil is used or if fish is grilled.”

Council environmental health officers are urging other businesses to make the same commitment.

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Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for public protection, said: “This scheme isn’t about telling people what to eat – it’s about encouraging businesses to offer healthy options. Buying food on the go is part of everyday life for some people. We hope to encourage businesses to also offer healthy options which customers will see and may choose on the menu.”

Certain requirements have to be met for a business to take part in the scheme.

They must pass a food hygiene inspection and there must be no nuisances arising from the business. Then the business must satisfy a minimum of eight criteria out of a possible 22 to qualify for the commitment.

For more information call the council on: 01708 434343 and ask for a member of the food safety team.