Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions

Explore our FAQs which answer common questions about your child school meals.

Who decides what is on the menu and how do I know my child is eating a healthy meal?
A balanced and tasty menu incorporating the food group legislation laid down by The School Food Standards is sent to all Primary School kitchens from City Catering Southampton. This takes into account favourite dishes, season, dietary considerations and the introduction of new products. Your Head of Kitchen then has the responsibility to order, prepare and serve the dishes on the menu.
Where can I get a copy of the menus used in this school?
The menus used in Infant, Junior, Primary and Special Schools are available to all parents/guardians. Copies of the menu cycle are sent home with pupils at the beginning of each term. You can also down load it from this website but please be aware that the menus vary slightly in some schools. You can also access the school menu on our school menu app – Lunchero and Lunchero+. Available to download on iTunes and Google Play – simply search for ‘Lunchero’.
Are children made to eat everything on their plate?
We actively encourage children to try new foods, however our Heads of Kitchen and kitchen staff know their customers well and try to treat all sensitively. Pleasing everyone is not always easy, but at City Catering Southampton we work very hard to maximise pupil meal satisfaction.
Are salads and fresh fruit available?
A salad selection is available daily as an alternative to hot vegetables and fresh fruit is offered as an alternative to the hot/cold daily dessert.
Will someone tell me if my child is unhappy and/or not eating the meals?
Our staff operate the kitchen at your child’s school, rather than the dining room itself; that’s managed by the school’s lunchtime supervisory assistants (SAs). However, if our team become aware that a child is not eating or enjoying their school meal, they will let the SAs or the Head Teacher know.
Can I ask to speak to the Head of Kitchen?
Yes, of course. Simply speak to the school office to check the best time to call in. City Catering welcomes all feedback as this tells us what we are doing well and highlights areas in which we need to improve. Talking directly to your Head of Kitchen ensures we get that kind of feedback. The Area Catering Manager and Operations Manager are also available via the City Catering Southampton Office
Does anyone check on what is being served?

Yes. Everything we do is carefully monitored for quality, School Food Plan Compliance, Health and Safety, and food hygiene standards. Our staff are trained in food hygiene, and all supervisors have been suitably trained to carry out their duties. Each school enjoys the support of an Area Catering Manager and a Development and Training Manager who carry out regular visits and spot checks.

We also undertake a formal auditing and monitoring assessment to check our standards of compliance. In addition, each Head Teacher monitors what is being served – and our dining-room customers themselves are not shy in telling us if they are unhappy with anything they see! We receive regular audit visits by Government Health Officers and Technical Officers too. City Caterings commitment to providing a quality service means we are always looking for ways to improve the service we offer and we are confident that we do just that.

Do you serve Genetically Modified (GM) foods?
City Catering has a policy to remove all GM foods from service. City Catering always tries to act in the best interests of our customers. All new products are monitored for GM additives, salt and fat content before they can be added to our supplies contract. We also keep files on nut, gluten, egg and dairy products, to assist provision of meals to children with food allergies.
How often chips and other are fried foods on the menu?
In Primary Schools chips appear on the menu only once a week. All other protein and potato products are oven baked. In Secondary Schools we serve oven chips only very occasionally, thus no menu items are deep fried in Secondary Schools.
Can we just try school meals to see if my child likes them?
In most schools the Head Teacher will allow your child to have a trial period at school meals, be it a day or a week, but this really is down to the school’s own policy. Many of the menu items available in school are known to be popular and familiar with our customers as they are often used at home.