18th January 2023

Manchester, England. 18 January 2023 – Employees in need of a quick pick-me-up to counter the infamous mid-afternoon slump will often have a cup of tea and a sweet treat.

But now enjoying a slice of cake in the office has been hailed harmful and likened to passive smoking...

The Chairwoman of the Food Standards Agency, the body responsible for food safety and food hygiene in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has advised people not to bring cake into the office, in an attempt to improve healthy eating habits.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice & Consultancy Director at Peninsula, says: “Providing fruit and other healthy snacks can help encourage staff to make good lifestyle choices but an outright ban on cake will likely be unreasonable and unnecessary.

“I know that my team and I enjoy bringing in sweet treats to celebrate special occasions or as an office fundraising event as part of our charity partnership. Having that opportunity to sit down with colleagues to enjoy a brew and a slice of cake together is a great way to strengthen working relationships, and promote positive mental wellbeing, which is something that employers should be looking to prioritise.

“At the end of the day, everyone is individually responsible for what they do and don’t choose to eat. Just because there is cake in the office doesn’t mean that people are being forced to eat it.

“Likewise, putting pressure on staff to only eat certain foods in the workplace, or “shaming” them for their choices could also have a negative impact, especially on those with eating disorders or other health conditions. Employers should be very careful about how and what they communicate with staff around this.

“In fact, employers who provide free snacks to employees often benefit from higher engagement and morale among their teams, so I would actually recommend that businesses look to implement perks like this.”



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