Fresh or Frozen?Written by Shamari Steele
As with any type of food, there are pros and cons when it comes to fresh and frozen meat. However, more caterers are relying on frozen products with great success. In fact, according to the British Frozen Food Federation’s Frozen Food Report 2 (May 2016), the frozen food sector’s value has increased by £650m in the last fi ve years. “Frozen food has had a poor image over recent years, but freezing doesn’t damage food it preserves it and it makes life easier for caterers and all end users,” explains Mandy Clinch, marketing manager for Riverside Foods.
There are numerous benefits of using frozen meat and poultry products, but low cost is one of the major benefits for university caterers working to tight budgets. It also means less wastage which means profits aren’t literally being thrown in the bin. “Speed and ease of preparation mean that no matter the level of experience in the kitchen or how busy the service, caterers can bring together innovative and fresh dishes with the minimum of effort to feed hungry students,” points out Frannie Santos-Mawdsley, senior customer marketing manager, European foodservice at Moy Park.Frozen meat and poultry offer university caterers flexibility and consistency as it can be ordered in advance of when it’s needed and simply defrosted when required. It also offers consistent quality and allows operators to better control portions too. “Frozen products are also cost-effective, which does not mean that quality should be compromised,” says Tom Styman- Heighton, development chef at Funnybones Foodservice. “ The biggest advantage of a frozen product is that it can come ready prepared, cut to the size that you wish and ready to serve with a sauce or a marinade that will have been enhancing the flavour of the meat during the freezing process.”
Consumers are always on the look-out for the next best thing and university caterers can easily meet this demand with the multitude of cuts and cooking methods available. By introducing the cheaper cuts of meat and poultry to students, university caterers will satisfy the need for new while increasing their profits per head. With minimum outlay for maximum appeal, everyone’s a winner.
Kim Ashley, the category manager at TUCO, reveals the benefits of using the Meat and Poultry framework agreement:
• The framework agreement is OJEU compliant which saves members the time and cost of carrying out the procurement procedure themselves.
• It offers members robust terms and conditions for the supply of goods, as well as food safety, assured suppliers.
• Food safety is monitored throughout the life of the framework agreement and members are notified if there is any area of concern with any of the suppliers.
• Savings can be made by purchasing through the framework due to collaborative procurement