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Food safety and hygiene in school kitchens ensured

Update: 25-11-2023 | 10:35:40

Recently, there have been continuous scandals about the quality of meals at semi-boarding schools and the food safety and hygiene of school meals in some provinces and cities, causing many parents to be extremely worried.  Hence,  along with improving the quality of teaching activities, ensuring food safety in schools is one of the important tasks done by Binh Duong province’s education sector so that students can have safe and nutritious meals.

Serious implementation

Vo Thi Sau kindergarten in Di An city’s Di An ward has a total of more than 800 children, 100% of whom are registered to enjoy meals at the school. Determining that ensuring food hygiene and safety is a regular and important task for preschool children, the school has set up a plan to care for and nurture children to ensure nutritional balance. Personally observing the process of processing ingredients in the school's kitchen, we noted that all steps of processing are clean and neat.

The management board of Vo Thi Sau kindergarten in Di An city regularly has close monitoring about the process of preparing meals for children

Tran Thi Kim Chung, Principal of the school said that it is clear that children go to school and eat most of the main meals and snacks at school to develop intellectually and physically, so the issue of ensuring food hygiene and safety is always a concern of the school. The school currently has 18 caregivers, all of whom have participated in training and got full vocational certificates. The school follows a one-way kitchen process and announces its weekly menu to parents via Zalo groups.

At Tan Hung primary school in Bau Bang district, the work of ensuring food safety and hygiene is always given special attention by the school. According to Le Thi My Hue, Vice Principal of the school, the school currently has 70% of students registering for meals worth VND 30,000 each. The school has 2 testing teams. A team of school teachers split up to conduct inspections at 5 a.m. when materials are brought into the school. The remaining team is the Inspection Committee consisting of members of the school's management board who will conduct unexpected inspections at any time and at any stage without prior notice. The school has also thoroughly educated kitchen staff, medical staff and teachers about the importance of ensuring food safety and hygiene in schools.

To ensure food hygiene and safety, provincial Department of Education and Training has directed the Divisions of Education and Training of districts, towns and cities to require 100% of schools organizing meals in the area to sign food supply contracts with reputable facilities, only using foods with clear origin. In addition, educational institutions should coordinate with localities to regularly establish teams to inspect food sources brought to schools and inspect the preparation, use and preservation of food in kitchens; set up diverse, nutritious diets suitable for students' ages...

Safety for students

Currently, schools can choose different types of kitchen operations in schools. Specifically, the kitchen is directly managed by the school; the kitchen is cooked by the service provider at the school; meals are ordered from an outside service provider... Regardless of the form, meals must be divided under the calculated quantity, with food hygiene and safety guaranteed. Every year, the Ministry of Education and Training sends a document requesting the People's Committees of provinces and cities to direct the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Health and relevant agencies to strengthen measures to ensure food hygiene and safety when organizing school meals.

At Uyen Hung primary school in Tan Uyen city’s Uyen Hung ward, due to limited material facilities, the school cannot organize a semi-boarding kitchen at the school, but must use a kitchen with meals provided by a provider from Uyen Hung B primary school. “The school’s management board has carefully evaluated each criterion to select a meal provider, carefully planned weekly menus and making them public for parents to follow. The school has also sent inspection teams to regularly monitor the process of preparing meals and their transportation to ensure safety", said Nguyen Thi Ha, Principal of the school.

Talking to us, Tran Anh Dung, Deputy Head of Tan Uyen city’s Division of Education and Training said that every year, the division coordinates with the city’s Division of Health and Health Center to organize training courses on food safety and hygiene at city-based educational establishments. The training has contributed to improving knowledge and practice of food safety and hygiene for the local schools, helping semi-schools with kitchens know how to prevent food poisoning.

Ensuring food hygiene and safety in school kitchens is always an issue that requires the cooperation of schools, families and the entire society. Although there have been no cases of food poisoning recorded in recent years, this issue still needs to be paid attention to by schools in the province, without being subjective or negligent. In the coming time, along with applying the above measures, the education and training sector will further ensure good implementation of measures to improve meal quality so that students can develop comprehensively.

The Ministry of Education and Training has required units and localities to propagandize and educate to raise awareness and responsibility of educational administrators, teachers, school staff, students and parents on ensuring food safety and hygiene, preventing food-borne diseases and food poisoning; strictly control food origin and stages of processing, preservation and transportation; strengthen close coordination between schools, families and local authorities in educating and guiding children and students to implement regulations on food safety...

Reported by Hong Phuong-Translated by Kim Tin

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