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Louise plans firms' healthy future.

Byline: Katie Campling ,

relaunching scheme Food safety manager Tracy Bousfield (left) and awards co-ordinator Louise Muhammad with a brochure about food hygiene awards

A KIRKLEES Council scheme has been relaunched to encourage businesses to become healthier places.

The Kirklees Healthy Choice Award has been run by the council's environmental health service since 1994.

Now it has been overhauled.

Thanks to Neighbourhood Renewal cash from the council and money from the North Kirklees Primary Care Trust an awards co-ordinator has been appointed for the first time.

Louise Muhammad is now co-ordinating the awards, which recognise businesses for having high food hygiene standards, healthy food options and smoke-free environments.

Ms Muhammad has made many changes, including introducing a three-tier award system.

The basic level is bronze, but firms which surpass those criteria can be given silver or gold awards.

The free awards are for food-related businesses such as catering firms, supermarkets, sandwich shops, takeaways, restaurants, pubs, hotels, clubs, canteens and schools.

They will soon be available for care homes, food manufacturers and childminders.

The awards are valid for two years.

Ms Muhammad said: "We've made the awards a priority for the first time. Health is a big topic at the moment, especially with the Government's various campaigns.

"Private businesses have a part to play. It helps them with regard to customers, because it inspires confidence in them when they see this award.

"It means they will get high-quality food, with healthy menu options and a nice environment."

Ms Muhammad is particularly keen to encourage small businesses to take part, as they have not done so in the past.

Specific criteria are still being drawn up for childminders and nurseries, care homes for the elderly and food manufacturers.

Childminders will be able to apply for awards from November and care homes and manufacturers from January.

To apply for an award, businesses must fill in a form and then undergo an inspection by the awards team.

For more information, phone the Food Safety Team on 01484 416883 or 01484 226452.
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2005
Words:336
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