SPCB Catering Standards

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) is committed to providing high quality catering services that strive to meet the needs of all of our customers, whilst recognising our responsibility to offer healthy and sustainable food choices.

The SPCB employs a catering services provider who is responsible for the management and operation of all catering facilities and outlets within the Scottish Parliament campus. We work with our catering provider to continually improve the environmental, ethical and social aspects of the catering services. 

To this end:

Food Safety:

We require our catering services provider to:

  • Comply with  all legislation and regulations including the Food Safety Act 1990, The Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006, Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991, Assured Safe Catering (Management System for Hazard Analysis), and the Food Standards Scotland codes of conduct and guidance;
  • Develop and implement a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (H.A.C.C.P) system
  • Ensure that any supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or other party involved in its supply chain comply with all appropriate food safety and labelling legislation.
  • Maintain robust auditable systems for ensuring food is handled, stored, prepared and cooked appropriately
  • Facilitate and cooperate with any local authority Environmental Health inspections

Health and Wellbeing

The SPCB is a silver accredited Healthy Working Lives employer and looks to create a healthy and safe working environment for all of its employees.

We expect our catering services provider  to maintain the Healthy Living Award and the Healthy Living Award Plus in our main catering facilities. This means:

  • Offering nutritional and healthy food
  • Offering vegetarian/vegan options and meeting reasonable allergenic, ethnic and religious diets, including the sole use of Halal chicken
  • Delivering nutritionally balanced menus
  • Where possible, retaining nutrients through appropriate cooking methods
  • Reducing salt, saturated fat and added sugar in menu preparation
  • Limiting the use of additives and preservatives from freshly prepared menu items
  • Avoiding genetically modified food
  • Labeling dishes for calories and allergens
  • Educating and informing customers about nutrition and healthy eating (e.g. information posters, flyers, promotional events) 

Sustainable food sourcing

The SPCB aims to provide as much fresh and seasonal produce as possible, with the majority being sourced in Scotland.  This helps to promote Scottish produce whilst also reducing our carbon footprint. 

We expect our catering services provider to:

  • Make use of seasonal menu planning
  • Limit the use of frozen produce
  • Provide a wide selection of Fairly Traded products, including teas, coffee , fruit and fruit juices, and a selection of confectionary items

Animal Welfare and other food standards/accreditations

The SPCB is committed to high standards of animal welfare in its catering operation. We require our catering services provider to ensure the following standards are adhered to when purchasing produce:

·         Farm Assurance Schemes such as Red Tractor, RSPCA Freedom Food, LEAF marque (Linking the Environment And Farming), National Dairy Farm Assured Scheme.

·         Fish from sustainable sources, as approved by the MSC and/or approved fish farm producers.

·         Poultry - to Grade “A” quality standard.

·         Halal chicken – religious slaughter carried out in  licenced abattoir /slaughterhouse with correct veterinary supervision

·         Eggs, or products containing eggs - must be of Lion Quality ‘CLASS A’ or equivalent and fresh eggs must be from free range hens.

·         For beef and lamb – Product from Scotland, any other UK or EU country.   Originating from a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) scheme or higher which contains annual, independent farm and processor scheme inspections accredited to European EN45011 standards.

·         For pork, bacon and gammon - Product from Scotland, any other UK or EU country.  Originating from a national or regional quality scheme recognised by the EU containing annual, independent farm and processor scheme inspections accredited to European EN45011 standards.


In addition, we require our catering provider to:

·         Maintain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) site accreditation for the Scottish Parliament campus.

·         Achieve and maintain Red Tractor status.

The SPCB seeks to embed sustainability into the heart of our operations and we work with our catering services provider on the following:

·         Minimising carbon emission by:

o   Purchasing energy efficient equipment

o   Operating catering equipment efficiently

o   Optimising the logistics of deliveries of suppliers

·         Resource efficiency

o   Effective purchasing of raw ingredients

o   Use of tap water instead of bottled water, unless specifically requested otherwise

o   Maximise the use of ingredients (e.g. use of carcasses for stock)

o   Effective portion control


·         Waste and recycling

o   Effective disposal of waste by composting and using recycling facilities

o   Exploring opportunities for re-use of vegetable oil

o   Re-usable delivery containers

o   Use of compostable disposables (e.g. napkins and containers)

o   Educating customers to minimise the use of disposables

o   Eliminate plastic sachets of sauces (e.g. ketchup; vinegar)

Additional link: SPCB Environmental Policy



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