The Sunday Telegraph

Defence chiefs say soldiers can eat lobster and steak every day

- By Sean Rayment

‘If the decision is that their personnel would like steak or lobster added to the menu, then so be it’

DEFENCE chiefs have claimed that soldiers can eat steak and lobster for lunch and dinner every day – providing they are willing to pay for it.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said that a major revamp of its catering facilities across the UK will mean that troops will receive better-quality food and value for money, with units being allowed to decide menus.

According to a warrant officer responsibl­e for overseeing the quality of food served across the UK, this means troops can have whatever they choose.

In an article in this month’s issue of Soldier magazine, Warrant Officer 1st Class Colin Sinclair, of the Royal Logistics Corps, said: “If the decision is their personnel would like steak or lobster added to the menu, then so be it.

“But they will pay the cost price at the till for these foods, plus VAT and a small 5 per cent surcharge for wastage.”

The MoD’s attempt to improve the quality of food served to troops in barracks comes after years of complaints by troops that meals at many bases are substandar­d and poorly cooked.

Meals on all military bases are now produced by private contractor­s, such as the outsourcin­g company Sodexo, and soldiers pay for each meal under a scheme called pay as you dine, meaning they only pay for meals they eat.

According to the MoD, a key element of the initiative is providing the meals at cost price, with no in-built profit on each item sold.

A MoD spokespers­on said: “Our people are our most important asset, and we strive to make their experience the best it can be. We’ve listened to the views of our personnel on catering and will shortly be introducin­g a number of changes to provide greater flexibilit­y in dining times, and healthier choices.”

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