The National Trust has announced that it will be taking steps to make ‘free-from’ options more accessible in an effort to cater for people with special dietary needs. This is not the first time the National Trust has taken steps to cater for wider dietary requirements, having added vegan and gluten-free options to its menu in recent years.

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What is free-from?

Free-from is a term used to describe foods that do not contain ingredients that are usually known to cause food allergies and food intolerances. According to European Union (EU) law, pre-packaged drinks and foods that are sold in the UK must clearly state on the label if they contain any known allergens. Some popular foods that are usually excluded from free-from meals include eggs; milk; fish; peanuts; wheat; soybeans; tree nuts such as pecans and almonds; mustard; and celery. It is not just food items but also food additives and preservatives such as sulphur dioxide and sulphites.

How the National Trust will serve free-from

People dealing with food allergies usually have limited choices; when eating out, some have even had to resort to just a bag of crisps. The decision by the National Trust to make free-from meals available in its 350+ kitchens across the UK will therefore surely be widely welcomed.

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In an effort to efficiently serve its catering customers, the National Trust sources commercial catering equipment from suppliers such as In 2017 it announced what it called its ‘catering design code’. This is to be implemented as a blueprint for its catering kitchens, using different table design and equipment deemed appropriate not only for the catering style on offer but also the different menus available.

The right type of equipment is, of course, necessary in an environment in which several food options are being offered, but even more so when ‘free-from’ is on the table. The slightest contaminations can have serious consequences, especially for people with food allergies whose symptoms from eating the ‘wrong’ foods could include vomiting, dizziness, nasal congestion and swellings of body parts.

Catering contributed £71m to the National Trust last year, making it the third-largest revenue generator behind enterprise and renewables and membership. 170 of the organisation’s outlets have received the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life accolade, which is testament to the progress being made.

Your fridge is designed to keep food fresh and stop it from going off, but did you know you should also clean it on a regular basis? Some people say you should clean your fridge out every month, but experts say that as long as you do a complete deep clean every 3 months, you should be fine.

Fridges are fortunately not conducive to encouraging bacterial growth, and unless we leave food to spoil or go off and go mouldy, these appliances stay relatively clean and germ free. Even if you put things that don’t necessarily belong in the fridge and could be in the pantry or a cupboard, the chances of creating a haven for bacteria are limited.

Quick clean

A quick wipe of your fridge should be done every 2 weeks or so, with a dishcloth soaked in hot, soapy water. Any spills can then be mopped up easily, and if there is any food residue that has been left behind, this can be eradicated too.

The shelves of your fridge can collect food residue quite easily, so wiping these down more often helps keep your fridge clean.

Deep cleaning

Every 3 months, it is suggested that you do a complete fridge clean out. If you are using commercial refrigeration, such as that available at somewhere like, you should be cleaning more frequently, but a fridge at home is far different to that used in a catering or restaurant kitchen.

To properly clean a fridge, remove all the shelves, egg racks and any other removable components and wipe down and deodorise the inside with a mixture of one litre warm water and one tablespoon baking soda. You can do the same to the shelves or removable components, or you can wash them in warm soapy water, and dry them off afterwards to avoid any residue.

Cleaning behind and around the fridge is also important, so if you can move it out a little and then vacuum up any dust, or sweep and then mop the floor. The back of the fridge may also collect dust, and you should be able to vacuum this off too. Lastly, wipe down the door seals and ensure that they still close tightly, as if they don’t, they can compromise the temperature inside.

Having a healthy balance between nutrition and exercise is vital for your health and well-being. Starting your mornings off with breakfast can help to reduce many aliments including: heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. According to a health article, breakfast is a meal that is eaten in the morning and should never be skipped especially if you are planning on exercising that day. Don’t go for the sugar heavy cereals instead choose something such as oatmeal or whole grains. You can spice it up with fruit or nuts along with protein from yogurt or milk. If exercise is on your agenda than you will want to be sure that you have some carbohydrates. Instead of choosing simple carbs from processed foods and sweets you should get your carbs from items such as vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans. According to another article, exercising can stimulate your brain as well as help you to get fit. When we exercise our brain produces happy chemicals that leave us feeling content, relaxed, and happy. Due to the health benefits of exercise you should probably schedule a few sessions of exercise per week.


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