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HSE examining delivery of community cooking programme

The HSE is ‘exploring’ how it can deliver its community cooking programme Healthy Food Made Easy in the final months of this year in line with Covid-19 restrictions, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.

The HSE-funded programme Healthy Food Made Easy is a six-week programme that “aims to support participants to develop knowledge and skills to prepare healthier meals at home”.

However, the programme was impacted by the onset of the pandemic, an Executive spokesperson told this newspaper.

“It is generally run in community facilities and delivered in person by a trained tutor to a group of participants,” the HSE spokesperson told MI.
“Where programmes were underway in March this year tutors worked to complete delivery using online technology to communicate with the groups.
“For the September to December period HSE community dieticians and delivery partners are exploring how programme delivery can continue in line with public health advice.”

Separately, the HSE has told this newspaper that it will be discussing the renewal of its service contract with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in the coming months.

“The HSE and FSAI have had service contracts in place for many years and these are renewed every few years,” said the spokesperson.

“The service contracts are made under the FSAI Act, 1998 and cover the HSE’s official controls on food. The HSE and FSAI agreed to extend the current service contract due to a focus of both organisations on other issues, such as preparations for Brexit, new EU legislation on official controls and the impact of Covid-19.”

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