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Hertfordshire County Council

Herts Responsible Food Award

Creating a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire.





Who can apply?

Broxbourne businesses

The scheme is currently open to food businesses in Broxbourne only, with the aim of expanding it to all of Hertfordshire in 2025.

Food outlets

Restaurants, takeaways and businesses that prepare and serve food to customers directly. This includes coffee shops, food vans and market stalls.

Food hygiene rating 3+

Any business with a food hygiene rating of 3 (satisfactory), 4 (good) or 5 (very good) is eligible for the award.


What do I need to do?

Step 1

Check your business is eligible for the award

Step 2

Work through the self-assessment form. Show how you meet all core criteria and any additional gold standards. Save your progress and return as many times as you need.

Step 3

Submit your self-assessment and we'll let you know which award you've achieved. When you receive your window sticker and certificate, you can proudly display them.


Why become an award holder?

Demonstrate good practices

You're letting people know your business is responsible. You take care of staff and care about the health of your community.

Contribute to healthier eating

You're telling new and existing customers that you offer healthier options on your menu without compromising on taste.

Sustain the environment

You're showing the community your business wastes less, reduces emissions and procures sustainably.




What are the core actions?

There are 20 core actions across 3 categories. Your business should be able to demonstrate all core actions in this criteria (as a minimum) to achieve the Standard award.


1. Good practice and local economy

  • Do you pay your staff the National Minimum Wage?


2. Healthier eating

Deep fat frying, oils and fats

  • Is cooking oil in deep fat fryers heated to the optimum temperature?
  • Is excess fat drained from the food before serving? 
  • Is your oil properly maintained?
  • Are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats and/or oils used when cooking/frying food that are appropriate for the intended task?
  • Do you only offer and use products free of trans fatty acids?

Salt and sugar

  • Do customers add any extra salt they want on prepared food themselves?
  • Are you using the least possible amount of salt, or no salt at all, in your recipes?
  • Are most of your soft drinks reduced sugar/diet drinks?
  • Are reduced sugar/diet soft drinks or water displayed more prominently than non-diet drinks?

Portion sizes

  • Are smaller portions for main meals and side dishes available for children as standard? 

Fruit and vegetables

  • Is the option of a portion of salad, vegetables or fruit available with all meals?

Inclusivity, promotion and marketing

  • Is healthier eating promoted by staff?
  • Does your menu include a choice of vegetarian and/or vegan main meals?


3. Sustainability

Environmental monitoring and energy

  • Do you ensure all non-essential equipment is turned off when not in use?


  • Does your business recycle basic items?

Food waste

  • Is food waste stored and collected separately from general waste?

Carbon emissions and food miles

  • Does your business choose to procure food locally where possible?


  • Does your business purchase responsibly caught/farmed fish?
  • If your business uses eggs, are they all free range or organic?


What are the gold standards?

There are 36 gold standards across 3 categories. If you can meet a number of these criteria (plus all core actions), you'll qualify for the Silver or Gold award, showing excellent commitment to the scheme.


1. Good practice and local economy

  • Have all employees involved in handling food completed a minimum of Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene training?
  • Do you provide employees with relevant training courses in healthier eating, nutrition or sustainable food practices? 


2. Healthier eating

Deep fat frying, oils and fats

  • Do your customers have the option of unsaturated or lower fat condiments, dressings or spreads? 
  • Do you use skimmed/semi-skimmed or non-dairy milk alternatives?
  • Do you provide thick cut chips or potato wedges as an alternative to French fries/thin chips?
  • Have you reduced the amount of red and processed meat in your dishes or on your menu?
  • Do you use trimmed meat and poultry where possible?
  • Do you choose to grill or steam any menu items as an alternative to frying?

Salt and sugar

  • Do you buy low-salt stock cubes, gravy granules and/or sauces?
  • Do you use reduced hole saltshakers?
  • Has your business made any efforts to reduce the sugar content of any menu items? 

Portion sizes

  • Are portion sizes appropriately sized?
  • Are smaller portions for main meals available for adults?

Fruit and vegetables

  • Is salad and/or rice offered by default with meals as opposed to chips?
  • Has your business made efforts to incorporate more vegetables into dishes where possible?

Inclusivity, promotion and marketing

  • Does your menu include healthier options for people with dietary and/or cultural needs?
  • Are healthier options displayed more prominently on menus?
  • Are healthier options priced similarly to less healthy items?
  • Does your business welcome breastfeeding on your premises?


3. Sustainability

Environmental monitoring and energy

  • Does your business collect data on energy and water usage, and use this data to reduce consumption?
  • Does you choose equipment with favourable energy efficiency ratings?
  • Has your business introduced recycling of non-standard items?


  • Can customers bring in their own reusable cups for a discount on drinks?
  • Is drinking/tap water always available and offered with food purchases?
  • Is your business signed up for free to Refill Hertfordshire to provide free water refills to customers?

Food waste

  • Does your business monitor the amount of food wasted from the kitchen?
  • Has your business signed up to Guardians of Grub and made use of the free resources?
  • Do you reduce edible food waste through local food bank donations or joining food saving schemes/apps?
  • Do you have a policy that encourages surplus food to be offered to organisations that support vulnerable residents?

Carbon emissions and food miles

  • Does your business monitor your own business mileage and emissions and use this data to reduce these values?
  • Does your business make efforts to use food that is in season?
  • Does your business have a no idling policy? 


  • Is most of the meat you serve from farms which satisfy UK animal welfare standards?
  • Does your business buy, use and serve fairtrade products where possible? 
  • Does your business purchase sustainable takeaway packaging and utensils?
  • Does your business choose to only purchase sustainable chemicals and cleaning products?


Standard Herts Responsible Food Award

Businesses who deliver all core actions are eligible for the Herts Responsible Business Standard Award

Silver Herts Responsible Food Award

Businesses who deliver 20 gold standards including all core criteria are eligible for the Silver Award

Gold Herts Responsible Food Award

Businesses who deliver 30 gold standards including all core criteria are eligible for the Gold Award











Hertfordshire businesses that are not located in Broxbourne and/or do not have a food hygiene rating below 3 can express interest in joining our 2025 award scheme

Get in touch

Line drawing of fruit, veg and HRFA logo

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