Essex: Oliver Battle With School Meals Undone

22 June 2012, 16:50 | Updated: 22 June 2012, 16:53

Jamie Oliver has hinted that he is not finished with his battle to raise nutritional standards in schools and says there may be a "plan B'' to change the stance of Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The TV chef and campaigner believes the Government has undone improvements and instead of continuing to raise standards, has actually gone backwards with the issue.

Oliver's Channel 4 series about school lunches led to new standards being introduced to ensure healthier food, but he has recently been at loggerheads with Mr Gove over the failure to extend the regulations to academy schools.

Speaking at the Taste of London food festival in Regent's Park, Oliver claimed that the Government's actions in relation to school meals are ``dangerous''.

He said: "Mr Gove, our head of education, has removed the nutritional standards which are incredibly important, I can promise you.

"Let's just remember: eight years ago there were no standards for kids' food in schools from the age of four to 18, 190 days of the year, and there was a humungous amount of standards for dog food. It was only eight years ago that we cared more about our dogs than our kids.

"Now Mr Gove has removed this. He's completely wrong. He's completely wrong and he's not budging yet, but he will.''

The Essex cook said that parents are not happy with current standards and that those within the industry are also up in arms.

"We're not best-pleased at the moment.''

Oliver's battle for improved standards does not appear to be over as he hinted that he will not be giving up.

"I also think it's dangerous. The biggest killer in this country right now is diet-related disease, bigger than anything else. The biggest cost to the NHS is diet-related disease. So, you know, maybe there's a plan B to kind of get him going. But we're not happy.''

Oliver appeared at the Taste of London festival alongside Blur's Alex James. The two friends will host The Big Feastival, a celebration of food, music and family, on the first weekend of September on James's farm in Oxfordshire to raise funds and awareness for the Jamie Oliver Foundation.