School meals company given go ahead to resume serving hot lunches to Sleaford schools

Food 4 Thought's premises in Sleaford on Reedspire Industrial  Estate - at the centre of controversy over school meals provision. EMN-141118-145423001
Food 4 Thought's premises in Sleaford on Reedspire Industrial Estate - at the centre of controversy over school meals provision. EMN-141118-145423001

A catering company supplying schools in the Sleaford area with hot meals has been allowed to resume its service after being ordered to stop by council officers on Monday.

Food 4 Thought, which operates out of a unit in Reedspire Industrial Estate in Sleaford as well as from another unit in Boston, providing up to 700 school lunches a day in the Sleaford area, was served with a notice to cease delivering hot meals by North Kesteven District Council after it was discovered it did not have the appropriate licence and approvals. The company has challenged the legality of the order arguing there were errors in the council’s statements.

After negotiations between the company and officials from NKDC and Boston Borough Council, a joint statement has been released tonight (Wednesday) from Coun Stephen Woodliffe, Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Environmental Health, Coun Richard Wright, North Kesteven District Council’s Executive Board Member with responsibility for Environmental Services and Ideal Catering Group (which has taken over the former operations of Food 4 Thought Ltd).

They state that approval has today (Wednesday) been granted by both Boston Borough Council and North Kesteven District Council to Ideal Catering Group to resume its full school meals service from their premises in Boston and Sleaford from tomorrow (Thursday).

They say the company has done everything the authorities have asked of it to ensure the ongoing, successful delivery of its school meals service to customers and at all times children’s health and wellbeing has been at the forefront.

The councils state: “As previously stated the quality of the food has never been in question and Ideal Catering Group has ensured that at no point during this period have children gone without food.”

Ideal Catering Group company director Caroline Clark said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to resolve all outstanding matters and resume our full service providing children with their lunches.”

Councillors Woodliffe and Wright said: “We appreciate the positive action taken by the company to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”

Environmental Health Officers from both authorities will be proactively contacting all schools affected to reassure them of the current position.

Schools known to have been affected were St Botolph’s School in Quarrington, Cranwell Primary School, Leasingham St Andrew’s Primary School and Woodside Day Nursery in Sleaford.