Food for Life Served Here FAQs


We normally serve schools with a Food for Life Served Here menu but we’re not able currently able to serve meals from these approved menus, is that okay?

We appreciate that schools that are currently open are working in unusual circumstances and doing everything they can to provide healthy lunch for the children in their care.  However, we understand that restrictions on supply chains and staff may mean that the usual Food for Life Served Here menus are not possible at the moment. 

If you are continuing to provide meals to children during this time, you have our heartiest congratulations and thanks.

Serving a non-FFLSH menu at this time will not affect your award, we just ask that you do not use the FFLSH symbol or make reference to the scheme in conjunction with the meals. 

Can I get a refund or put my licence on hold if we are not operating a standard food service, or not operating at all?

Your invoice covers a 12-month licence period and it’s usual for caterers to have periods during the standard year when they’re not serving Food for Life Served Here menus, such as during Easter and Christmas holidays.

We are unable to offer refunds due to COVID-19, however, we understand that the current COVID-19 situation is causing a significant amount of disruption to businesses.  If any of this disruption has had a significant effect on your business that will make payment of your annual fee problematic, please do contact us to discuss what we can do to help. 

We’re not operating a FFLSH menu at the moment – why should we be inspected?

When we carry out a Food for Life Served Here renewal inspection, we review both the current menu and documentation over a period during the last 12 months. Whilst sites are closed or restrictions are in place due to COVID-19, we are offering the option of a remotely conducted inspection instead.  This will allow us to review your operations against FFLSH standards in a safe way, without a site visit, whilst ensuring that the annual review of your FFLSH award is carried out.   


I can’t accommodate a remote inspection – can I restart my award at a later date/will this affect my award? 

 If you are due a FFLSH inspection during this period of restrictions due to COVID-19, we are offering the option of a remote inspection instead of your usual on-site inspection.

Whilst we anticipate that some caterers will be able to participate in a remote inspection, we do understand that all businesses are operating under very difficult circumstances right now and if you are not able to accommodate a remote inspection, we understand.

If this is the case, you may defer your inspection until such time that you can accommodate a remote inspection or when restrictions are lifted and we are able to inspect in person.

Please do contact us at catering@foodforlife.org.uk to discuss in more detail.  

If you’re unable to facilitate a remote renewal inspection during this restricted period and your licence is due to expire, we can issue you with a temporary certificate to ensure there is no break in your award. Once circumstances enable us to, we’ll schedule your usual on-site renewal inspection with you.  Once that inspection is successfully completed, we’ll issue you with a further certificate for the remaining months of the next twelve-month period not covered by the temporary certificate.

We will not be terminating or placing licenses on hold if you’re unable to accommodate a remote inspection. As usual, we reserve the right to suspend a licence should we have any concerns.


We’re concerned that we haven’t served a Served Here meal in weeks, can you offer any help or advice?

We are aware that due to staff shortages and supply chain issues that the possibility of running a Food for Life Served Here menu right now is not feasible.  These are very unusual circumstances and we understand you’re doing your best with what is currently available.

If you are experiencing any supply chain issues we may be able to help via our FFL Suppliers Scheme so please do let us know anything we can specifically help with.

If you are still managing to serve Food For Life Served Here meals we would love to hear from you – please send us pictures and details. We’re keen to share your positive work wider via our website and social media channels.

Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SAfoodforlife and join our Food for Life Cooks & Caterers Covid-19 Facebook Group – a safe and collaborative space for cooks and caterers to support each other in these challenging times.

Fees FAQ

How are Food for Life Served Here Award fees decided?

The certification fees for the Food for Life Served Here Award are based on the amount of work it takes to carry out an inspection and to service the award throughout the year.

Do I have to pay my fee in one lump sum?

Not always, but most caterers do. However, fees can be paid in six monthly instalments by way of a credit agreement from Premium Credit. Please note this involves an additional charge of 3.75% of the total value of the invoice and a credit check may be required.

What is classed as a ‘site’?

A site is school. We used the term ‘sites’ where a caterer has a catering contract that's for more than one place.
How much do I pay if I want to add another site to my existing award?

If this doesn’t require an additional inspection - i.e. a new facility joins your contract - and they will receive the same menus as all other sites that are covered by your Food for Life Served Here licence, then we would simply charge an additional site fee depending on the total number of sites already in your contract. This can be done at any time. 

However, if you want to add a new site that doesn’t use the same menu or management controls as your existing sites then you may need an additional inspection. 

All inspections are charged at £825+VAT from 1st April 2020. Alternatively, you could wait until your annual inspection to include more sites in your award, as this would mean you wouldn’t need to pay for any additional inspections. Please give us a call to discuss adding new sites to your existing award.

Food for Life Served Here

"Working towards a standard (such as the Food for Life Served Here Award) can enhance a company's reputation, act as a point of differentiation, reduce costs and help a business think through current and future risks"Catering for Sustainability - WWF Sodexo, 2016