Five food businesses in Sandwell have been recognised by Sandwell Council for offering healthier food options to their customers.

The national award called Eat Out Eat Well rewards caterers who make it easier for their customers to opt for healthier choices when eating out.

With three levels – bronze, silver and gold - the scheme is open to caterers, takeaways and other food retailers that have a good food hygiene rating and are complaint with food standards.

It encourages food businesses to provide healthier options to customers by increasing fruit, vegetable and starchy carbohydrates on their menus, and decreasing fat, especially saturated fat, sugar and salt.

The level of the award is based on a scoring system that takes into account the type of food on offer, cooking methods, provision of healthier meals for children and how the meals are promoted customers.

A platinum level is also available to larger organisations which meet government buying standards.

The first five Sandwell award winners are:

Brasshouse Café, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick (Silver award)

Health Futures UTC Café, High Street, West Bromwich (Silver award)

Captain Café, Halesowen Road, Cradley Heath (Bronze award)

D’Vine Café, High Street, West Bromwich (Bronze award)

Eat it Fresh, Pound Road, Oldbury (Bronze award)

Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection, who presented the awards, said:

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners of this new award for Sandwell.

“A lot of us enjoy eating out, but it can sometimes be a struggle to find healthier alternative eating options.

“We’re all becoming more aware of the contribution that a healthier diet can make towards reducing some diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

“These awards are a great way of recognising and raising awareness of the businesses that are making that extra effort to provide us with tasty and healthier options."

Abbas Abbas, owner of Captain Café in Cradley Heath, said: “I am very honoured and proud  to receive this award for Captain Café.

"The Eat Out Eat Well scheme, gives food businesses an opportunity to promote healthy eating to our communities and to offer our customers a healthier choice of food.”

Customers wanting to make changes to their lifestyle through healthier eating should look out for the Eat Out Eat Well logo when eating out, showing them where healthier eating choices are available.