BEIJING — The Ministry of Education (MOE) released a circular calling for better food safety work for the country’s nutritional improvement plan for students on Sept 7.
The circular was based on recent food poisoning incidents in several regions that involved a large number of students.
The crowded environments of middle schools and primary schools make food safety a major issue that cannot be overlooked, the circular reads. The lingering high temperatures and timid weather across the country also make it easy for pathogenic microorganisms to multiply, increasing the chance of food poisoning incidents.
Schools in the pilot regions of the aforementioned plan should check the sanitary conditions of their canteens, and eliminate potential risks by checking the expiration dates of the foods and flavoring, as well as keep an eye on management to find potential problems.
They should strictly implement the laws and rules on food safety, continue to improve their food safety management, and modify their contingency plans for food safety issues, according to the circular.
The MOE also calls for measures including strengthening the supervision over food suppliers, improving the disinfection of tableware, and carrying out regular checks.
Launched in November 2011 for elementary and middle school students in China’s rural areas, the nutritional improvement plan offered schools subsidies to build canteens or outsource breakfast and lunch from catering companies, as well as free nutritional packages for infants and information on healthy nutrition for their caregivers.