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Vegetarian dishes must not contain:
- Animal flesh (meat, fish or shellfish)
- Meat, fish, or bone stock, or stock cubes containing same
- Animal carcass fats (including suet, lard or dripping)
- Gelatine, gelatine-based jelly, or aspic (jelly made from meat stock)
- Products with ingredients derived from slaughterhouse e.g. calf rennet in cheese
- Battery or intensively produced eggs should be avoided wherever possible. Please consult individual residents regarding their opinion about eggs
Vegan dishes must not contain:
- Anything on the vegetarian list above
- Dairy products including cheese, milk, butter, cream, yoghurt and whey
- Products with ingredients derived from eggs or dairy, e.g. albumen, casein, ghee, lactose or whey
Common Stumbling Blocks
Traditionally cheese was made using rennet, an enzyme extracted from the stomach of slaughtered calves. But today most UK cheese is vegetarian. If in doubt, please ask your supplier. Cheese products are never suitable for vegans. Vegan cheese-alternatives are available in some stores.
Fats, Oils and Margarine
Butter is suitable for vegetarians, but not for vegans. Other animal fats and fish oils, and products containing them, are unsuitable for either. There are many margarines suitable for both vegetarians and vegans – usually clearly indicated on the container.
Gravies and Stock
Cubes or powders containing meat, poultry or fish extract are not acceptable. Please use vegetable stocks and stock cubes.
Royal jelly is not vegetarian. Honey is acceptable to vegetarians but not vegans. Agave syrup can be a useful replacement.
Milk and Cream
Milk and cream are acceptable to vegetarians, but not to vegans. Soya milk is readily available and is good for most vegans. Rice, nut and oat milks are also available for those who do not like soya.
Usually contains anchovies, but vegetarian and vegan versions are available.
The majority of vegetarians and vegans have adopted their lifestyle because of concern for animal suffering. If you provide soap, shampoo and similar products, please try to ensure that they are animal-free and have not been tested on animals.
Work surfaces, chopping boards, utensils and other equipment should either be kept separate from those used for non-vegetarian food preparation, or cleaned thoroughly beforehand. Cross contamination should also be avoided between vegetarian and vegan foods. Please ensure that fryers, grills and griddles used for meat and fish are thoroughly cleaned. Fryers must be filled with fresh, uncontaminated oil before vegetarian or vegan food is cooked.
- For each meal you should offer at least one vegetarian option.
- Good communication with your vegetarian residents or service-users should ensure that individual preferences are observed. (If necessary – for frail or vulnerable vegetarians – family or friends should be consulted to ascertain preferences.)
- Menu planning should ensure a good variety of food of high nutritional value with an appropriate mix of carbohydrate, protein, fat and fibre providing at least 5 portions a day of fruit or vegetables. ‘Dairy overload’ should be avoided. See the 'Balance and Planning' page in the Catering Guide publication.
- We would encourage you to offer your meat-eaters the vegetarian options – which will be good for the variety and nutritional needs of their diet.