A COVETED accolade has been served-up to North Yorkshire's school catering service.

The team has received the Soil Association Food for Life silver award.

The honour recognises a commitment to serving food which is fresh, environmentally-sustainable, organic and healthy, and the championing of local producers.

County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, executive member for schools, said the success was due to a huge team effort.

He added: "Our food is fully traceable, produced to high welfare standards and home-cooked from fresh in our kitchens.

"The school cooks go to huge efforts to ensure children are served high-quality meals which support their health and learning.

"All eggs are free range, ingredients come from local suppliers and meat can be traced back to the farm.

"Not only is this good for children and young people – who can enjoy freshly-prepared, high-quality food for their school meal – but it is also good for the local economy by keeping money in the region, supporting local and British farmers and creating employment for growers and suppliers."

Last year, the county council's school meals service spent nearly £6 million on food.

County Councillor Mulligan said the service also placed strong emphasis on training, making sure catering staff were kept up to date with latest food standards and safety guidance.