A new Italian sandwich shop has received a healthy eating award from Middlesbrough Council.
The Italian on Borough Road is the first food business of its kind to receive a Food4Health award in recognition of its commitment to promoting the benefits of a balanced diet and providing healthy food options to its customers.
Middlesbrough Council’s Food4Health Awards scheme aims to help local food businesses increase access to healthier foods and to raise awareness of the need to eat healthily.
To achieve an award, businesses must demonstrate their commitment to healthy eating principles, which include making food healthier by reducing levels of salt, fat and sugar and increasing the nutritional quality of the food.
Businesses also need to promote healthy eating and encourage customers to make a healthier food choice.
Awards are based on a set of criteria that lead to either a bronze, silver or gold award.
Claire Conway, who owns The Italian with Stefano Foffano, was presented with a Silver Food4Health award by Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Social Care.
Claire, who was the manager of the original and well known Italian Job in Garnet Street, opened The Italian in December 2016 after the Italian Job closed its doors.
Since then Claire and her staff have been working hard to ensure their customers can benefit from good quality healthy food.
Claire said: “Working with Middlesbrough Council’s Public Health Officers and taking a close look at the ingredients, foods and methods of preparing our food has really helped us to deliver healthy food to our customers.
“Eating healthily is very important and we wanted to show our customers that we were meeting their demands for healthy food.
“The Food4Health scheme guided us to achieving this goal and we are very proud of our achievement in getting a Food4Health award.
“We will continue to develop our menu and promote healthy eating to our customers and we look forward to achieving a gold Food4Health award in the future.”
Councillor Rostron said: “Reducing the prevalence of obesity and improving the health of people in Middlesbrough is a public health priority, and our food businesses have a leading role to play.
“Through Food4Health and other health improvement initiatives we aim to increase access to healthier food, give consumers more ability to make healthy food choices and help local people to lead healthier lifestyles.
“Food4Health awards are a great way to recognise the efforts that our local businesses make to provide good quality nutritious food to people who live, work or visit Middlesbrough.
“I congratulate Claire and her colleagues for their efforts in supporting our health improvement goals and achieving a Food4Health award.”