Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Minister proposes ban on canteen operators preparing food at home

The Health Ministry will discuss with the Education Ministry on the proposal to ban canteen operators from preparing meals from home, following a case where seven pupils consumed fried noodles (mee hoon) containing glass shards. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said investigations found the menu under the Supplementary Food Programme (RMT) was prepared by the canteen operator at home, before bringing it to the school. He said the practice of canteen operators preparing meals at home made it difficult for the ministry or teachers to monitor the hygiene levels of the kitchen used to prepare the food. "We have given guidelines and training to teachers in schools, so they can set up a committee to conduct their own inspections, and the Health Ministry also makes regular checks. "The inspection is done on the canteen's kitchen. However, if the food is cooked at home, we cannot inspect it. If this is widely practised, it will become difficult for us to monitor," he told reporters in Putrajaya today. Last Friday, seven pupils of SJKT Ladang Nigel Gardner, Hulu Selangor, were admitted to Sungai Buloh Hospital as they had consumed glass fragments in the fried noodles at the canteen. Subramaniam said last year, a total of 13,674 inspections were carried out on school canteens throughout the country, and 66 canteen operators were ordered to stop operation under Section 11 of the Food Act 1983. On the pupil's condition, he said five of them had been discharged, while two more were still receiving treatment. "They are not facing a huge medical complication. However, they need adequate rest to regain their health." He said the Education Ministry had suspended the canteen operator while a full investigation was being carried out. "It has yet to be ascertained where the pieces of glass came from, because it might have been in the kitchen of the canteen operator's house or during the 24km from the house to the canteen," he said, adding that a full report on the investigation would be available in three weeks. Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also shared the anger of the pupils' parents, and ordered for a thorough investigation to identify the problems in the food-handling procedure, so that such incidents would not recur. Subramaniam said if parents or students were sceptical of the cleanliness of food served in school canteens, they could notify the school or make a report to the District Health Office or State Health Department via, or the Facebook page of the Food Safety and Quality Division at – Bernama, March 2, 2016.]]>

No comments:

Post a Comment