2. Food

Introductory remarks

The term ‘food’ as referred to in this section includes food as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Following the same approach as for the section on housing, standards included in this section should be considered irrespective of whether applicants are provided with food in kind or in the form of financial allowances or vouchers. This means that Member States choosing to provide applicants with a financial allowance or vouchers to cover the costs of food need to ensure that they are sufficient to allow applicants to purchase food which complies with the standards listed in this section.

   Legal references — food
   Article 2(g) RCD: definition of material reception conditions

Standards and indicators

STANDARD 21: Ensure that applicants have access to sufficient and adequate food.

Indicator 21.1: Food safety standards are observed.

  • Additional remarks: In line with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) (6) for food safety approach developed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the sanitation of housing, in particular of kitchen areas, should follow a preventive, rather than a corrective, approach. In line with this standard, the cleanliness of kitchen areas should be ensured, as lacking cleanliness could turn out to be a hazard for the overall health in the housing.

Indicator 21.2: At least three meals are served per day for adults and five for minors, of which at least one is cooked and served warm.

Indicator 21.3: The meals ensure a balanced and varied diet, including milk for minors and infants when needed.

  • Additional remarks: The composition of the meals varies, for example meals are based on cereals, bread and rice, fruit and vegetables, milk, dairy products, meat, eggs or fish.

Indicator 21.4: Applicants are informed about the composition of the meal.

  • Additional remarks: Information could be provided in a general manner (with labels, etc.) or on demand.

Indicator 21.5: Specific arrangements are in place for applicants with special dietary needs.

  • Additional remarks: For example, pregnant and breastfeeding women and persons with certain illnesses and food allergies should be taken into account.

Indicator 21.6: The eating preferences and dietary restrictions of specific groups are taken into account.

  • Additional remarks: ‘Specific groups’ refers to applicants from a specific religious and/or cultural background as well as vegetarian/vegan applicants.

   Good practice with regards to the provision of food

       It is considered good practice:

  • to allow applicants to cook for themselves where possible and adequate given that this promotes their autonomy, increases the feeling of normality/feeling at home and can contribute to structuring the everyday life of applicants; and
  • to give applicants the possibility to be served separately cooked or reheated meals if they had good reasons to miss the regular meal times; and
  • to consult applicants regarding the menu and the cooking of the food.

STANDARD 22: Ensure that applicants have access to potable water 24/7.

Indicator 22.1: Each applicant is provided with a minimum of 2.5 litres of water per day while personal physiology and climate are taken into account.

  • Additional remarks: More details about minimum daily drinking water quantity can be found in the standards developed as part of the Sphere Project (7).

Alternative indicators:

Indicator 22.2(a): The infrastructure of the housing is adequate for potable water. OR

Indicator 22.2(b): Potable water is distributed in the absence of adequate infrastructure.

  • Additional remarks: Applicants should be informed regarding the safety of tap water as drinkable water, where applicable. 

   Good practice with regards to the provision of beverages

   It is considered good practice to provide tea and coffee.

6      See UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point (HACCP) System.

7      The Sphere Project, How much water is needed in emergencies?

Download PDF