A CATERING company which provides meals to almost 300 schools in County Durham has backed the introduction of new nutritional standards.

But Chartwells says the rules must be backed by other measures. The new standards came into force on Monday.

Rules for primary schools include one option from each of the four main food groups, fruit and vegetables available every day, chips no more than three times a week, red meat at least twice and fish once a week.

Gerry Wood, operation director at Chartwells, said: "The new Government regulations are only minimum standards and we already exceed them."