The 2013 Children and Young People Obesity Scrutiny Commission in Hackney made two key recommendations relevant to the food environment, both of which have been at least partially actioned:

  • restricting new fast food takeaways near schools through planning policies, also recommending mapping existing provision of these businesses
  • consideration of a Healthier Catering Commitment (HCC).

Hackney Council’s Environmental Health and Public Health teams have developed and implemented a tiered HCC award to encourage healthier formulation of meals sold at takeaway outlets, based on the CIEH model. Fifty-four of 81 eligible fast-food takeaways participated in the local HCC pilot, and 45 achieved the HCC award, making changes to their food and cooking practices.  There was good engagement with fried chicken vendors and cafés. This scheme is now being rolled out across Hackney.

In Hackney, food safety is the responsibility of the Environmental Health Team.  In the City, the team responsible is Environmental Health and Trading Standards.  Their responsibilities include: 3

  • food safety regulation
  • food hygiene training
  • improving food safety
  • reducing incidence of food poisoning and food-borne illness
  • educating and training businesses/food handlers on food safety matters and the impact of non-compliance on customers
  • empowering customers to look up the Food Hygiene Rating of local food outlets
  • safeguarding the food chain to reduce food fraud and adulteration; and reducing nuisance pests.

Hackney’s Development Management Local Plan (adopted in July 2015) includes a specific policy (Policy DM3, ‘Promoting health and wellbeing’) to address the high concentration of hot-food takeaways in the borough, stating that: 4

‘In order to promote health and wellbeing, mental health and spiritual well-being the Council will … seek to manage access to hot-food takeaways such as by restricting proposals for new hot-food takeaways from locations within 400 metres of secondary schools, and working with businesses and developers to promote healthier lifestyles through design and types of use within developments…’  

References

  1. S. Burke, “Environmental Health 2012 a key partner in delivering the public agenda,” Health Development Agency, 2002
  2. Hackney Council, “Development Management Local Plan,” 2015
  3. S. Burke, “Environmental Health 2012 a key partner in delivering the public agenda,” Health Development Agency, 2002
  4. Hackney Council, “Development Management Local Plan,” 2015