Eating out

Food for Life Catering Mark

When you visit most restaurants, schools and hospitals, it can be difficult to find out where the food on offer has come from, how it was made and what ingredients it contains.

The Food for Life Catering Mark can help you to find good food. It’s our unique award which guarantees that what’s on the menu is freshly prepared, free from undesirable additives and better for animal welfare.

Meals which have been awarded the Catering Mark are all free from controversial e-numbers such as aspartame, tartrazine and MSG. They do not contain artificial trans-fats or GM ingredients*.

When you see the Catering Mark, you can rest assured that all meat and dairy products come from farms which meet Red Tractor animal welfare standards. Many go even further and serve organic meat, dairy products or eggs, which means guarantees a truly free-range life where animals have plenty of space and fresh air to thrive and grow.

Making it easier to find good food

The Catering Mark offers bronze, silver and gold awards, to encourage caterers to make step-by-step progress towards using more local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

At bronze, 75% of meals are freshly prepared, meat is from farms which satisfy UK welfare standards and all eggs are from cage-free hens. No fish from the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Fish to Avoid’ list can be served, and food is free from undesirable additives or trans fats.

For the silver and gold awards, in addition to the bronze standards, points are awarded for every percentage spend on organic, free range, fairtrade and locally produced ingredients, as well as for steps taken to promote healthy eating. A minimum of 5% of total ingredient spend on organic is required at silver, 15% at gold - including one animal product.

The Catering Mark is available for all types of caterers, including restaurants, local authorities and contract caterers. If you know a hospital, children’s nursery, care home or university which doesn’t have the Catering Mark yet, why not ask them to get involved?

Places to eat with the Food for Life Catering Mark:

* this standard cannot guarantee that meat is from animals fed on GM-free feeds, as most non-organic meat, eggs and dairy products come from animals that may be fed on GM animal feed.