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Friday, June 29, 2007

Poisoning our School Children.....

This seems to be a common occurrence these days with contaminated food in canteens and the milk project that appears to be unsolvable with the small operators who appear ignorant of basic food hygiene.

Having worked with a Nestle factory for a few years, I would imagine that the efforts to produce small quantities of milk in isolated areas is really not viable as it costs a fair bit to ensure good hygiene and workers need to be properly trained and motivated. If we add in the costs of regular health screenings I think most small operators will close shop.

My children studied in Singapore and the system there is a little different. Teachers and pupils share the same food and the only concession for teachers get is a separate seating area and they can jump queue though my son says a few teachers will also queue.

After 41 years (4 children's experience) we did not experience any food poisoning case in my family.

I suggest the following will see a dramatic improvement in food hygiene:

1.Have only one canteen operator to supply both pupils and teachers

2.Teachers should also be provided a proper space in the canteen as their presence will instil good behaviour and improve rapport with pupils

3.Canteen operators will ensure a cleaner space.

4.PTAs should have a Canteen committee to do regular but surprise inspections.

As for the milk scheme, I suggest that small operators be encouraged to pool resources like form a coop to operate from more modern facilities so that overheads can be reduced. If an operator cannot meet certain standards, the supply should be replaced with UHT milk that can keep for weeks without refrigeration.

It is good that bad canteen operators have been fired but more should be done to reduce the many cases of food poisoning.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.syntheticsociety.com/blog/mobile_images/unnamed-image-2-795494.jpg

1 comment:

Bernard said...

Hi Harold, I like your new layout and font. It makes for easy reading.
I support your 4 suggestions and believe teachers and pupils will have a greater rapport and bond with this arrangement.
I hope the PTA will adopt these tips for the betterment of all pupils.