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News & Views Indian takeaway goes for healthy option

A new initiative in Lincolnshire aims to make takeaway Indian food health- ier. The Passage to India on 435 High Street, Lincoln, is one of five local res- taurants working with a county chef to reduce salt, saturated fats and calories in popular Indian dishes.

Dr Tony Hill, director of public health for NHS Lincolnshire, said that people are unwilling to give up takeaways: “Our research told us that most people already know that takeaway food can be unhealthy and we need to look at ways we can make it easier for people to eat more healthily but still enjoy takeaway food. We believe that if we can work with the industry to help them to pro- duce healthier products for consumers we are one step closer to tackling the impact of a diet high in salt and satu- rated fat.”

This pilot project comes after Trading Standards randomly tested over 60 restaurants in the East Midlands in 2009 and discovered that some of the most popular dishes have high levels of salt, calories and saturated fats. It was revealed that 30% of the dishes con- tained more than the recommended daily amount of salt, which is 6 grams.

To help tackle obesity, profession- als decided to assess how takeaways and small businesses can reduce the problem and came up with “health as stealth”. It aims to challenge the food and the suppliers rather than persuad- ing people to eat less.

The Passage to India, as well as four other restaurants in Lincolnshire, have started serving healthier food and so far consumer testing shows that people can’t tell the difference in taste. The four other pilot restaurants are The Star of India in Boston, Mowgli in Metheringham, The Agra in Sleaford and Kismet in Grantham.

It is hoped that the new approach to healthier lifestyles will be successful, as Kelly Evans at http://social-change.” Social Change UK says: “It would be easy to just tell the public on posters and postcards that takeaway food can be bad but we know this doesn’t work. We know that some people will not stop buying so changing the food – but still keeping the taste is

the best strategy to tackle obesity.”

Restaurants that have taken part in the pilot got to showcase their work at the Epic Centre at the Lincolnshire Showground on June 30 and all Indian restaurants and takeaways are now being invited to take part in free train- ing to see how they can make their food healthier and save money. (This article is reprinted with permis- sion of The Linconite)

‘Eat-and-run’ on the increase, says survey

A new survey has revealed that 14% of British consumers have left res- taurants without paying. According to a poll of 3000 people by the shopping website, one in seven diners say they have intention- ally left a restaurant without paying.

The reason most frequently cited was poor customer service, with 39% blaming waiting staff for not return- ing to take payment, 26% saying they were dissatisfied with their food, and 2% refusing to pay because staff were rude to them.

Spice Business Magazine

“This presents a serious problem for restaurateurs across the country,” comments’s co- founder, Duncan Jennings. “Today dining out is cheaper and more acces- sible than ever before, meaning people are eating out more regularly and are able to treat themselves to a meal out for less. However it seems that in some cases people are taking moneysaving to the extreme and cutting out paying altogether.”

When asked what they most disliked 14 July/August 2011

about eating out, the majority of diners pointed to bad service. Their biggest gripe was inattentive or rude waiting staff, followed by the automatic addi- tion of service charge to a bill.

Third on the restaurant hate-list was being made to pay for tap water, fol- lowed by staff taking away plates before everyone at the table had finished. Another pet hate was being asked for the table back for another sitting.

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