Proposal to get operators to sell nutritious food

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KUCHING: A proposal could be made for the Education Ministry to urge school canteen operators nationwide to sell only nutritious and healthy food.Deputy Minister of Education Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said he would consider proposing the idea to the ministry once he has rounded up his work visit in the State.

It is important to introduce healthy food for children since it will affect their physical and mental growth, Dr Puad said during a get together session with teachers at Batu Lintang Teacher’s Training Institute on Tuesday night.

“Most canteen operators in the country serve unbalanced diet and unhealthy food. It is time to propose a plan to tackle the issue, considering the Influenza A (H1N1) epidemic threat and frequent cases of food poisoning of students.”

“At the moment, it is up to the school to monitor the situation. They have to make sure that the food is served well and the kitchen, clean. As for packaged food which comes in packets and boxes, the school should make sure that it is healthy and endorsed either by the Consumer’s Affair Unit or the Health Department,” Dr Puad said.

He urged canteen operators to be more concerned and responsible with the food they serve, and that they should take the initiative without being told.

On measures that can be taken immediately, Dr Puad said he would propose to the ministry to send circulars to all schools in the country regarding the matter.

“There are no regulations to handle these measures for now. It is entirely up to the school board to see to the issue,” he added.