Boris Johnson calls for higher food standards in capital's restaurants and hotels ahead of London 2012

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Olympic games

London 2012 is the ideal starting gun to improve food standards Boris Johnson tells restaurants, hotels and caterers
London 2012 is the ideal starting gun to improve food standards Boris Johnson tells restaurants, hotels and caterers
London mayor Boris Johnson is calling on the capital's restaurants, hotels and caterers to improve food standards ahead of London 2012 to help 'revitalise' the food sector and create a lasting legacy for the industry.

Under the Food Legacy Programme, Johnson wants to see more chefs use seasonal, sustainably-sourced and higher-welfare ingredients on their menus as well as traditional British produce such as Cheddar cheese and more Fairtrade products.

Pressure will also be on chefs, who will serve an estimated 14 million meals during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to adopt healthier cooking methods such as grilling and steaming when preparing dishes.

Benefits

Those behind the programme believe the move will benefit everyone involved, from the hospitality industry, to farmers and consumers during London 2012 and long after as it would stimulate production among local suppliers.

Johnson, who has the support of London Food chair Rosie Boycott, Defra and NHS London, also believes that businesses who sign up to the new standards will still be able to maintain profit margins.

"Catering for the 2012 Games is a mammoth operation and a lot of hard work has gone into raising the standard of the meals that athletes, workers and spectators will consume. We want this to generate a step change in the commercial food sector, providing a boost for our food industry in terms of investment and jobs," he said.

Pledge

A number of restaurants have already signed up to the scheme, including Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, Sushi operator Feng Sushi and the Clerkenwell Kitchen.

Oli Ingham of Wahaca said: "From the moment Wahaca was first conceived, we realised that, like the Mexican markets that inspired us, we wanted to make a positive and lasting impact on people's tastebuds, while minimising the negative impact on our local community and surroundings. We have always seen the benefit of operating as a sustainable business, not just through offering healthy and sustainable food, but also in how our restaurants are built, fitted out and environmentally assessed.

"We're pleased to support the new London's Food Legacy programme and hope that it will encourage more restaurants achieve the vision of creating a healthy and sustainable food legacy from the London 2012 Games."

For more information about the scheme, to get advice or to sign up to the pledge, click here​ or visit www.foodlegacy.org​.

For more information about planning for the Olympics see our Special Feature: Planning for the 2012 Olympics

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3 comments

Cheshire

Posted by Cheshire Deli,

Thank for sharing this content. I found this very informative and helpful. And I'm sure it helped other readers too... Thumbs up!

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Food Standards Agency

Posted by Matthew O'Hanlon,

Strange how Boris doesn't mention the Food Standards Agency or their remit and lead in the 2012 Olympics. Considering the article touches on better standards in hotels and restaurants why is there no mention of the FSAs recent roll out of the Food Hygiene Rating system. It was obviously a great opportunity for raising awareness of this scheme and encouraging best practice by food businesses in the interest of public health - especially considering the marketing and advertisement budget cuts public bodies have faced. It was a shame Boris missed the opportunity to raise awareness of the fantastic work undertaken by public servants in this area.

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Feng Sushi London

Posted by LDav,

I'm glad to see that Feng Sushi have gotten involved in this as I visited one of their restaurants last week and was very pleased to see their stance on sustainable fishing - insomuch as though source all their ingredients responsibly and have removed at risk species such as blue fin tuna from their menu. I live in London and I'm very much looking forward to the Olympic Games and it will only be beneficial to get <a href="http://www.fengsushi.co.uk/">sushi restaurants in London</a> and, indeed, all restaurants in the capital taking a look at their food standards. Very commendable stuff by Feng Sushi and Wahaca.

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