Eggs have been described by nutritionists as nature’s large vitamin pill – a mineral cocktail; they contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet.
Packed full of goodness; from vitamin A and B12, right through to choline, vital for nerves and muscles to function correctly. Eggs really are a wonder food, in 100% natural packaging.
Did you know……
- Eggs are the highest quality protein you can purchase
- The yolk contains a natural source of vitamin D (which many brits suffer a deficiency in)
- The yolk colour depends on the diet of the hen
- The older the hen the larger the egg
- large eggs contain roughly 70 calories and 5g fat – making them very nutritional indeed!
- A hen will lay roughly 300 – 325 eggs a year and it takes between 24 and 26 hours to produce one single egg
- Eggs are second to only mothers milk for human nutrition, making it a very healthy choice
- Eggs age more in one day at room temp, than they do for one week in the fridge!
World egg day
World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October; with this years being on Friday 9th October!
Whether you celebrate World Egg Day every year, or this will be your first time, make sure that this year, you get cracking and help to make this World Egg Day the biggest and the best ever.
To celebrate world egg day why not try one of our cracking ideas below
Did you know the fastest omelette maker in the world made 427 two-egg omelettes in 30 minutes? American Egg Board’s Howard Helmer, is the Omelette King; he holds three Guinness World Records for omelette making.
Why not host a friendly competition? How many omelettes can you make in 30 minutes, or who can make the quickest omelette – whatever you do you will have some eggcellent fun!
We all loved doing the egg and spoon race when we were younger – so why not hold an egg festival! Egg and spoon race, balancing the egg, egg throwing, painting the eggs and egg recipe contests? Finish the day with some smashing egg food (think omelettes, eggy bread, dippy egg, egg custard tarts – it really is such a versatile food!!)
From egg hoppers in Sri Lanka to Scotch eggs in the UK, the egg is a staple food in many countries. Check out this list of how eggs are eaten around the world! Huevos rancheros from Mexico is one of my personal faves! Corn tortillas are topped with fried eggs, salsa, beans, and avocado. Why not create a menu with egg dishes from around the globe!?
However you celebrate world Egg day – we are sure you will have a smashing time! Don’t forget that if you need any help with sourcing your daily foods (including eggs) we are here to help! Just give us a call, or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
one final note……
How do you know if a chef is mean?
He beats all the eggs.
Saturday, July the 4th 2020; the day pubs, cafes and restaurants could reopen in England after a long three months closed due to Covid-19.
Whilst this is great news for businesses, it poses new challenges for business owners that may never have been faced before.
It is advised to stay 2ms apart, but if you cant 1m will suffice. However many smaller businesses may not be able to conform to this restriction. Small cafes, pubs and eateries that have tables close together are having to half their capacity in order to reopen. This is leading to a loss of ambience, identity and atmosphere that customers may associate with some of the businesses; as well as, reduced income from fewer people being allowed in. One way to combat this is for you to start, or continue, offering takeout services, or increasing seating outside.
This, of course, has its own problems; the added cost associated with purchasing more seating for outside, the need for containers for food and drink to be supplied as a takeaway and added cleaning costs can be daunting for business owners. Using single-use plastic is not great for the environment, and you may not be aware of the alternatives available if you have never needed to use them before. Luckily, there are many options available for all concerns. There are budget options for furniture and more environmentally friendly options for takeaways. We have been able to help customers save money on disposable consumables as well as seating and furniture for outside. If you are interested in how we can help – email email@example.com to find out more.
Of course, the safety of the staff is important, but it is also imperative the welfare of customers is considered too. There are many items on the market that are helping to keep both staff and customers safe. From sneeze guards to visors; Face masks to hand sanitiser. There are numerous things available to purchase in order to help with the reopening. We can help advise and source these if you wish as it may be a daunting experience due to the sheer number of products being sold.
There are some other things that can be done to help; suggest the use of card payments over cash, limiting menu choices to help kitchen staff run more efficiently, and having plenty of sanitising stations around the premises (more is better!!) Implement one way systems and ensure cleaning is done more frequently. The Government are also asking to take names and numbers of customers for track and testing. This GDPR compliant visitor book is ideal for venues to use to record visitors details.
Running a tight ship
Due to social distancing, some staff may not be able to return to work immediately. They may be shielding, or simply not be needed currently. To help run more efficiently there are many options. As mentioned before reduce the menu size to reduce stress in the kitchen. Opt for frozen items as this leads to less wastage. Shop locally, as this will not only help support other businesses but also reduce the number of miles your produce is travelling. And opt for things that make your life just that little bit easier like pre-sliced rolls.
Engage the local community
Whilst times have been tough for businesses like you, consumers may need some encouragement to come back and part with their cash. Costa has given away free coffees to all those that have the app – whilst we are not suggesting every business can afford to do this, offering a welcome back discount will go a long way to bringing the customers back!
Throughout the pandemic, key workers have been working hard to either keep us safe or to keep the country going. One way to boost a businesses profile is to hold some form of a charity event to highlight the appreciation we as a nation have for these people. Host an NHS themed event, raising money or providing free items to NHS staff. This will not only be good for the charity but will bring together a sense of community.
The good news is though, you are of course not alone. Every business is having to go through all these changes, and customers are learning to adapt. It may be a slow process, but this will soon become our new norm. We hope you all stay safe and if you have any problems with food supply, housekeeping issues or need any PPE/furniture – then contact us today!
With the heightened awareness of infection control due to Coronavirus, we thought we would give our top tips to control infection in care homes.
Managing infection control in care homes isn’t just best practice: it’s the law. Preventing the spread of infection in care homes basically comes down to knowledge about hygiene practices and a commitment to put those practices into action.
It’s key that all staff understand what leads to infection and how they can prevent the spread of it. The latest government guidelines make it clear that hygiene is a priority for care homes. The standard of hygiene in any care home will be reflected in its CQC rating.
Cleaning in care homes
The main aspect of infection control in care homes is to carry out thorough and regular cleaning. This makes sure that residents have a safe and infection-free environment. Providing proper cleaning training is essential to work towards better infection control in your care home.
Personal protective equipment
Care staff have a lot of touch contact with large numbers of residents during their work. If you work in a care home environment, protective equipment can greatly limit the number of germs that are picked up on your hands. Personal protective equipment includes Isolation gowns, face protection, masks, goggles, face shields and respiratory protection. It is vital to ensure all of your staff are provided with the correct protective equipment.
Safe handling and disposal of chemical waste
Your care home should have a written policy on waste disposal. This provides guidance on all aspects, including special waste, pharmaceuticals, and cytotoxic waste, segregation of waste and an audit trail. This should include colour coding of bags used for waste. For example, you could use yellow bags for clinical waste, black bags for household waste and special bins for glass and aerosols.
We all know that washing your hand properly is the number one way of stopping the spread of infection. However, you must ensure all of your staff are demonstrating best practice when it comes to this most basic of hygiene habits.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set out very specific guidelines for when and how care home staff should wash their hands, and they also offer free resources including instructional posters and reminders to stick above basins.
The WHO advises that care staff wash their hands in five circumstances:
- After touching a resident
- Before touching a resident
- After touching a person’s surroundings
- Before carrying out cleaning procedures
- After any risk of body fluid exposure
Hands should always be washed with soap and water at these five key points, or at any other time if they are dirty.
We are able to sit with you and see if we can help save you money on all your housekeeping needs. Read this blog that we have written about how we can help!
Give us a call today on 01329 236821
Nutrition and Hydration Week, running 16th – 22nd March has taken place every March since 2012. Its aim is to bring people together to educate them on the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in health and social care.
Organisations worldwide and from all areas of health and social care take part each year and new organisations are welcome to join in the fun.
With around 3 million people at risk of malnutrition in the UK and over 25 million in the G8 countries the need to raise awareness of the risks is becoming more and more important…
Preventing malnutrition and dehydration not only improves health and well-being but helps to reduce the burden on the health and social care services in treating and supporting those suffering from undernutrition and dehydration.
As our NHS is suffering from tighter budgets, Nutrition and Hydration Week is a great way to raise awareness in a cost-effective manner.
The week is all about learning new ways to improve nutrition and reduce dehydration as well as giving people a way of sharing ideas and to help others.
Who can get involved?
Nutrition and Hydration Week is open to absolutely anyone who wants to join the shared cause of helping people understand the importance of nutrition and hydration in health and social care.
It’s fun and free to join and all the resources on this website are available to download for no charge and can be personalised in whatever way you want them to be.
How to use the week
Nutrition and Hydration Week is an opportunity for you to promote your foodservice; promote special dietary needs – dietetic support, weight management, speech and language services (dysphagia), continence teams, occupational therapists; promote nutritional screening;
It can be used as an education and awareness tool for your senior management, other professionals, your team, your patients, residents, customers, and families.
Planning your Nutrition and Hydration Week
Make your aim clear –
What is you want to achieve? Do you want to highlight what you already do? Do you want to raise awareness and educate people? Have a clear focus and run with it throughout the week.
Who is your audience?
Customers? Residents? Families? Your workforce? Tailor your plans and ideas to those people you intend to target meeting your audience’s needs.
What event are you doing?
Do you want to hold an event such as Afternoon Tea, or a poster competition? Maybe get your execs to do dinner service, or why not a come dine with me event have. The list is endless and you can really make it unique to you and your audience!
Publicise your event.
Use the posters available to you or create your own, use newsletters and social media to spread the word. Share your week by making sure you take photos. If you are on twitter make sure you use the use the hashtag #NHWeek and tag @NHWeek. Or you can email your photos to this email address and they may feature them in their newsletters.
Ideas for events and activities during N&H Week
- Monday – Big Breakfast – the most important meal of the day
- Tuesday – Snack Tuesday – the value of snacks between meals and at suppertime
- Wednesday – Global Afternoon Tea
- Thursday – Thirsty Thursday
- Friday – Fruity Friday
- Saturday – Smoothie Saturday
- Sunday – Sundae Sunday
Global Tea Party
The highlight of every Nutrition and Hydration Week is the Global Tea Party which takes place on Wednesday (18th March)
On this day organisations are invited to hold their very own tea party. Not only is this a good way to show commitment to nutritional care it is a great way to bring people together! This website has resources to help you plan – with menus, recipes, and invitations!
Create stations where residents can grab a drink, can have some fruit or simply grab some information on how to prevent dehydration. Below are some examples of fab hydration stations.
Try something new – WaterADE
A new and exciting powdered soft drink in 8 Fantastic flavours. Containing no added sugar, Gluten Free and added vitamins A, D, and E.
Each small packet makes 2 Litres of great tasting drink and the waste is minimal so great for the Planet too. If you would like to try WaterADE – email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to help you!
Using food Molds
These can revolutionise meal times for people with swallowing difficulties – bringing a sense of normality back again.
With a little bit of imagination, you can create anything that your residents desire; from curry to salmon. These molds will encourage residents to eat once again, and will help make them feel a part of the care home community; as the food on their plates will look like that of other residents’. Find out more here… If you would like to purchase any molds, email – email@example.com who will be happy to help.
If you need or want any further information please use the links below!
When it comes to grocery shopping people are beginning to think differently. Price is not the only key thing we as a nation are thinking about; we are also starting to be more conscious of how the product was made and the impact it may have on our planet.
So what are we doing, or what can we do to be more environmentally friendly?
Avoiding food waste
Food waste is a key contributor to climate change. Everyone from major hotels to Joe blogs at home has a responsibility to do as much as they can to combat food waste. Change has already started happening as many consumers have started taking steps to avoid food waste and to become more environmentally friendly. Places such as the trash café here in Hampshire saves food from going to landfill sites. They rescue food from shops that would otherwise be thrown out and people can donate money (or time/skills) for these items. Each week I get a hamper of food that would have otherwise been binned, I pay £10 for a large bag of food and that’s my week’s shop done! The idea is to feed bellies not bins!
Although this may not work in a commercial setting due to best before dates and rules and regulations – you can still avoid food waste. Plan meals and only buy what you need. Think about serving sizes – more is not always best. And finally, use up leftovers; (bubble and squeak anyone??) here are some epic leftover recipes.
Recycling more rubbish
With the growing awareness around plastic pollution, many brits are thinking more and more about how they can recycle more effectively. Companies are also looking at how they can make their packaging more environmentally friendly. One company is Vegware; Vegware packaging is made from plants using renewable, lower carbon, recycled or reclaimed materials. They are designed to be commercially compostable with food waste, where accepted. Compostables are a practical solution for single-use food-contaminated disposables. This allows the foodservice to achieve its sustainability goal. To find out more visit their website.
Avoiding single-use plastic
Over 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean every year, equivalent to a full garbage truck every second! Much of that waste is single-use plastic items like bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, food packaging. This goes beyond remembering your reusable cup at costa and taking a water bottle with you. It’s thinking outside the box. Straws, toothbrushes, food packaging and plastic bags.; They are all culprits.
The charge for carrier bags has had an impressive impact. In a study by Cefas they revealed there has been an estimated 50% reduction in plastic bag marine litter. That equates to a massive 9million plastic bags taken out of circulation! Why not start by investing in re-usable or more eco-friendly straws, rewarding those that do bring their own cups or even using food wraps or reusable pots to cover food to save using cling film.
Healthy eating is all about having a balanced and varied diet, so your body gets all the goodness it needs to keep you looking and feeling great. We love to experiment with new recipes and new ways of cooking here at Collective Purchasing. With veganuary hot in the press at the moment, we wanted a challange! However we didn’t think we were quite ready to go full vegan, or even give up meat altogether; That is when we decided to try Meat Free Mondays!
Meat eater or not you have probably already heard about Meat Free Monday; but you are not sure why or even how you should get involved. Never fear, Collective Purchasing are here to give you a helping hand!
Originally ‘Meatless Monday’ started out as a public health awareness campaign designed to improve general health in the population. This was done by encouraging everyone to moderate their intake of meat by having a meat-free day every week. Fast forward to now and it has gathered more momentum; with celebrities such as Al Gore and Paul McCartney championing its cause. Today, it’s not just a health campaign but also aims to raise awareness of environmental issues associated with eating meat.
‘Scientists agree that we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere by 80% by 2050 to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. This is an enormous challenge, which no single action will achieve; the government and individuals need to work together. It is often difficult however for individuals to identify ways in which they can have a real impact. Having a Meat Free Monday is a simple way for individuals to significantly reduce their emissions.’ (
‘The meat industry is a major source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, mostly methane and nitrous oxide:
– On a global scale, the meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gases that are accelerating climate change; more than the entire transport sector. Livestock accounts for 9% of global CO2 emissions, 37% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions.
– Methane is 21 times more powerful than CO2 and nitrous oxide is 310 times more powerful than CO2. Methane remains in the atmosphere for 9 to 15 years; nitrous oxide for 114 years on average and is 296 times more potent than CO2.
– In the EU livestock production is responsible for 15% of GHG emissions; in the UK it is responsible for about 8.5%.
– Meat and dairy products make up a third of humanity’s protein intake, and demand is growing fast. In 2000, global meat consumption was 230 million tonnes per year; by 2050 it is expected to reach 465 million tonnes. More livestock means more greenhouse gases.
By simply having one day a week plant-based, you will be joining thousands of people committed to combat climate change. It is also healthy to partake in meat-free Mondays, as it will encourage you to try new foods.
Below are some simple hints of how you can go meat free.
- Use meat substitutes: Quorn, tofu, tempeh or seitan
- Use more veggies, whole grains, pulses, eggs, cheese and legumes;(including pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, and black-eyed and split peas).
- Prepare veggies in a different way to add variety, texture and increase vegetable intake; e.g create vegetable spaghetti or ribbons using a Spiralizer
- Try making vegetarian quiches, tarts, curries, soups, stews, wraps, couscous, rice, and pasta dishes
Christmas is a mere two weeks away. Its the time of the year when the decorations come out of the loft; you go shopping for the perfect gift and stress about how little time you have. How about this year, instead of going out into the hustle and bustle of the high street you create your own Christmas craft at home. You could make a unique decoration that you bring out every year or even a one of a kind gift for someone special – whatever you decide, your masterpiece will be a real showstopper!
Not sure what to make? We have compiled the perfect list of ideas. Take the pressure out of Christmas and get crafty with Collective Purchasing! These ideas are great to do together, young or old. So bake (or buy!) some cookies, pop on some Christmas music or a festive film and get your creative juices flowing!
These decorations are simple yet fun to make. Simply paint some lolly sticks and glue them into snowflake shapes and hey presto! Instant chic decor!
With a load of acrylic candy canes, make this mouth-watering wreath to hang on your door. Santa will know just how to find you!
Terracotta Christmas Tree
Clay pots make this Christmas tree decoration easy and fun, especially when topped with a bright red star.
Rice, socks and rubber bands are the keys to creating this adorable winter friend.
These cute jars will do all the talking. Start by coating Mason jars in glitter and then transform them into reindeers, snowmen and Santas.
None of these takes your fancy? Move on into the kitchen and give the gift of food! We all know the way to peoples heart is through their stomachs!!
Peanut butter fudge
This homemade fudge recipe makes an easy sweet treat or a stunning edible gift.
These easy, homemade version of the retro classic make delicious Christmas presents.
Chocolate fridge cake
A no-bake cake that’s perfect for making with children. You can also pick and mix the fillings to suit your taste.
Make sure you send us photos of your creations. If you need any stock in order to create these festive delights don’t forget to give us a call!
On 22nd October 4 members of the Collective Purchasing team ventured to the Hilton at the Ageas bowl in Southampton to attend the Bidfood winter food show.
Upon arriving Burt’s crisps, Honeybuns, proper corn and Cadbury greeted us! We indulged in some tasters (the Jim bean BBQ crisps from Burt’s crisps and all of the gorgeous gluten free goodies from Honeybuns were delish!) and took full advantage of the samples being handed out!
The main room
We then headed into the main room where there were loads of suppliers including;
- The Snaffling Pig company, who think the humble pork crackling is AWESOME. Their obsession has led them to launch a range of frankly delicious porky based items! On their table they were showcasing their piggin’ awesome advent calendar which we were very excited by! We also received a bag with a selection of flavours to take home and enjoy. These tasty snacks would make a great addition to any business looking for a more unique savoury snack!
- Innocent smoothie, who had a game of ‘smoothie pong’ set up; which of course we had to have a go on. We were given a selection of their new smoothies ‘Innocent Plus’ to try; a rainbow selection of juices, packed full of goodness and vitamins. They also have a wide selection of other drinks including dairy free options and coconut water. Perfect for the more health conscious customers out there.
- Moving Mountains® have created the most impactful food inventions of the century; plant-based meat that requires less land, water and produces less greenhouse emissions than what comes from producing a regular portion of animal meat. Moving Mountains® products are popular meat substitutes not just for vegetarians and vegans; but for flexitarians who have mixed feelings about their overall meat consumption. With texture so akin to animal meat, their mouth-watering meat substitutes converted us to their products!
Of course, as it was a Bidfood food show there was plenty of offerings from them. All four of us made a beeline for the dessert section and were treated to numerous options. After we headed to the next stand where they were showcasing their vegan and gluten free selections for Christmas. It was here we discovered Banana Blossom; a plant based protein is also known as ‘banana heart’. It is a purple skinned flower, shaped like a tear that grows at the end of a banana cluster. Traditionally used in south-East Asian cooking, it is now been seen as a fish substitute. They explained that this is because of its chunky, flaky texture. Although we didn’t get to try it; it was interesting to hear about it and I am sure we will see more of it in the future!
Whilst there we also had a great chat the guy from Simply Puree; a leading manufacturer of texture modified and specialist diet meals for the healthcare sector. They were showcasing their dishes for patients with swallowing difficulties, which in a care setting can be quite common. Click here to read a blog we wrote on puree food last year.
The dishes come in varying levels of texture depending on the residents needs. Ranging from level 6 which is soft and moist and can be broken down into pieces with a fork; all the way to level 3 which is a pureed food consistency, and requires no chewing. It was really interesting to chat to the company and see some of the examples of dishes that our customers use.
All in all it was a great day, in which we got to try some amazing food and potentially create some lasting relationships. Being able to experience the range that Bidfood is offering for Christmas and the range of products they sell year round means we are able to pass that knowledge onto our customers; hopefully encouraging them to try new products. Thank you to everyone we met and spoke to.
We are giving one lucky follower the chance to win a hamper of Halloween treats! To enter, tell us on Twitter your favourite treat, and follow us to be in with a chance of winning!
Terms and conditions
- Entrants must follow us on twitter.
- Tell us your favourite treat.
- Enter by 31st October.
- Claim prize by 8th November.
- One entry per person.
- Winner will be announced on 1st November.
- Collective Purchasing will use a random selector to draw the winner
- UK entrants only.
Whether you are ready or not the festive season is just around the corner. It is the time of year when the shops are filled with Christmas decs, festive food and all things indulgent.
The stresses of the gift buying, wrapping and the countdown until the big man himself comes will be over before we know it. However for businesses in the catering and hospitality industry, it is usually their busiest period.
Below we have some great tips to ensure you are prepared for the upcoming festivities.
As the saying goes, less is more. With so many ways to decorate, finding a way that compliments your business and location is important. Make sure you utilise areas of your building to help create that festive vibe. Don’t be tempted by tinsel and paper chains if it doesn’t fit in with your business style. Ensure you keep décor classy and subtle with hints of red and green dotted through your establishment.
The tree is the main event, but be wary of cluttering it with too many baubles and lights. Again avoid tinsel if you can and make sure the tree fits the space. If the tree is too big and it looks messy, too small and the area will look empty. Why not add some gift wrapped boxes under the tree to finish it off.
Add a wreath to your front door, but try and make it unique to you. I have a beautiful peacock themed wreath on my door as that was our wedding theme. There is no point having the same wreath that every Tom, Dick and Harry has. Why not try having one up with your branded colours, or with some reference to your business. They don’t have to be expensive, but they create a great first impression.
If you have a reception area, do not neglect it. Add some subtle lights to the desk, have a bowl of sweets to hand out and have some Christmas music playing softly in the background. This will create a warm and welcoming environment with a message of generosity. I mean, who doesn’t love free sweets!
Smells conjure up a lot of memories. Coconut always reminds me of holidays, and cinnamon of Christmas. Use scented candles, reed diffusers, potpourri or a simple air freshener. The wintry, spicy aromas will be sure to be welcomed by visitors.
Tables should of course have Christmas crackers, it wouldn’t be Christmas without them. However make sure they aren’t the cheap variety, where hats rip and prizes are left behind. Invest in some good ones, or make your own (if you have time!!) Why not also add some games or photo props to the tables. Guests will have fun using them and will ensure that you are talked about for months to come, with the hope of them returning next year.
Your waiting staff are another area you shouldn’t forget about. Let them wear Santa hats, Xmas earrings or festive button holes. They should be able to get into the festive spirit whilst at work in order to help your guests feel jolly too.
Finally, make sure you are not bringing out the same old tired looking Christmas stuff year after year. Customers will notice! Each year is an opportunity to freshen up your Christmas look.
If you need any help with décor or furniture, then call us on 01329 236821 and we will get you some prices!
Food and drink
From the turkey to the sprouts, the mince pies to the party puddings, whatever festive feast you’re throwing this Christmas, eat, drink and be merry!
Within the care/catering/hospitality industry you need to make sure that all dietary and allergy requirements are met. With the increasingly popular vegan diet, it is essential to have plenty of vegan options. Make sure you have plenty of options so that no one feels left out.
Also ensure you have allergen information to hand and to include allergy free selections for those with allergies.
Keep it traditional, but also maybe create some more adventurous dishes for your menu. Below are a few of our favourite Christmas staples, but also some tasty dishes we want to try! Above all, make your customers feel valued and not rushed; Nobody wants to rush their Christmas dinner! Christmas is all about bringing people together; by having a warm and cosy space you will create a friendly, festive environment.
Christmas centrepiece recipes
If you want to save money this fesitive period, then call us to see how we can help save money on your daily food supplies.