TOP takeaways have added some precious metal to their menus after impressing health watchdogs with their crusade to cut the level of saturated fat in their chippy meals.

Eighteen fish and chip shops have been the Gold Chip Fryer award from St Helens Council’s Environmental Health team, and six have gone on to claim the top notch Platinum awards.

Gold or platinum winners have to produce chips that not only taste better by using cooking a preparation processes that ensures they absorb up to 40 per cent less fat.

Laura Blackburn from Platinum class Frydays said: “Originally we were unsure of the impact the award would have on our customers, now that we have both Gold and Platinum the customers are interested and impressed with the awards and trade has increased as a result.”

Crispy Cod owner Michael Eleftheriou, delighted with his Platinum and Gold grading said: “Customers say they can taste the difference in our chips - compared with other traditional fryers - as they are crisp and not greasy. I think the award is a great thing for serious chip fryers and separates us from the rest.”

All takeaways in the borough are invited to apply for the award, contact the Environmental Health department on 01744 676338.