“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

Hippocrates (Ancient Greek physician)

Food services at the school are provided by the SOFRA Group. The SOFRA Group delivers its experience and expertise in the school catering sector through the Eurest brand.


The SOFRA Group, a subsidiary of the leading international service group Compass PLC., provides services to schools, universities, factories, workplaces and hospitals in three main areas: catering, building operations and maintenance, and vending machine management. The clear leader in its sector, the SOFRA Group offers services to 750 institutions in 39 regions of Turkey, with 10,000 members of staff.

 

The SOFRA Group is the first catering service company in Turkey to receive the ISO 9000:2000 quality certificate, the HACCP certificate that includes the hazard analysis of critical checkpoints as well as the OHSAS TS 18001 certificate for workplace health and safety. The quality standards of the SOFRA Group can be seen in: the product checks that take place at every stage of the process from purchase to service, including storage and cooking; its personnel who are well-trained in the field of school food service; the standards of hygiene in all preparation and servie areas; and the workplace safety ensured by thorough training of personnel regarding the appliances and equipment used.


Unlike other companies, the SOFRA Group offers food and drink services in schools as a separate area. The Compass Group, which operates in 55 different countries and is the world’s 8th largest employer, runs an Eat, Learn, Live program especially designed for educational institutions. This program runs in other countries where the group operates and is also implemented in schools in Turkey by the SOFRA Group. As part of this program, which was designed to help students make a healthy choice at mealtimes, healthy-eating seminars are given at schools, aimed at parents and school administrators as well as students.


Menus are prepared according to the students’ age-group by specialist dieticians and food technicians, with the aim of providing students with healthy meals that they will enjoy. These menus are discussed and approved by the “Menu Planning Committee”, which is made up of a dietician, the SOFRA Group regional manager, project manager and head chef, the school principal and vice principals, a student representative, the school doctor, a representative of the school administration and teachers. Any changes in the menus are first approved by our dietician.

 

When providing services for our students the SOFRA Group works according to the following standards:

  • Ingredients used in our kitchens are supplied by Turkey's best companies and the suppliers are inspected regularly by our company’s quality control department.
  • Menus are designed according to the recommended calorie intake of our students and healthy and balanced nutrition policies. Menus should be appealing to our students and therefore care is taken that the food on the menus also looks appetizing through attractive and colorful presentation.
  • No saturated fats, particularly margarine, which have negative effects on the heart and blood vessels, are used in our food. Instead we use olive oil.
  • Instead of frying our food we prefer healthier cooking options such as baking, grilling or boiling.
  • Canned foods, ingredients that contain additives, food colorings, sweeteners and artificial flavorings are forbidden in our kitchens.
  • When the weather is hot (May-November) we forbid the use of any ingredients that could cause a risk due to their preparation techniques (e.g. dishes with cream, mashed potatoes, beans). We avoid using certain high risk foods (fresh fish, etc.) in our menus at any time of the year.

In line with the requirements of quality management system standards, the company has specific rules that are followed throughout the entire food service process, from the menu planning stage to serving food and retaining samples.

 

The kitchen and kitchen personel undergo regular hygiene inspections by internal and external inpectors. The team is also ready to be inspected by the school administration at any time. Products used for cleaning and disinfecting the kitchen are supplied by internationally certified companies and the daily disinfection process is regularly recorded.


THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE COMBINATION OVEN USED IN OUR KITCHENS

  • Our kitchens are equipped with the latest technology, including combination ovens to cook our food.
  • Food is never fried in oil. Fresh or frozen vegetables and potatoes are cooked in combination ovens without any oil.
  • The ovens have a keep warm function that keeps foods at the required temperature until served, meaning that the temperature of our food never falls below 65oC.
  • Combination ovens help to cook food quickly and to a high quality.
  • Combination ovens help to keep oil use to a minimum level and contribute to a healthy diet.


COOKING METHODS AND TECHNIQUES USED IN OUR KITCHENS

  • For meatballs, meat is purchased fresh and vacuum-packed from Namet (beef flank, rump, sirloin and brisket). It is then cut, the tendons are removed and the meat is minced, following which all other ingredients are added and the meatballs are prepared and eaten on the same day.
  • Onions are never fried; they are first boiled then added to the food.
  • Soups are thickened with flour without adding any oil.
  • Rice and bulgur are directly prepared in boiling water without adding any oil.
  • Noodles are first baked and then cooked in boiling water.
  • We provide this statement at the end of our menus: “Food is not prepared by roasting or frying, no additives or preservatives are used.”


BRANDS USED IN OUR KITCHENS

  • Meat and chicken: Pınar, Banvit, Keskinoğlu, Namet, Etçii
  • Dried meats: Pınar, Polonez, Sütaş
  • Milk and dairy products: Pınar, Eker, Yörsan, Sütaş
  • Oils: Eker butter, Kırlangıç olive oil (cooking and virgin). 
  • Dried fruit and nuts: Meraklılar, Tadım, Peyman
  • Pulses: Başhan, Tat, Reis (beans, chickpeas and lentil are organic)
  • Pasta: Tat and Filiz
  • Sauces and pastes: Kingtom, Tamek, Tat, Tukaş
  • Flour: Ova Flour
  • Frozen products: Süperfresh, Feast, Kerevitaş
  • Fruit and vegetables: Cater Fresh, fresh products delivered daily.
  • Bread: Karunsan, Lorjune
  • Other breakfast products: Nestlé and Ülker
  • Hygiene, cleaning and disposable products: Henkel, Ecolab, Johnson-Diversey