Additionally, schools will themselves test food and how to handle food poisoning. The management board of food safety in HCMC, amongst 2,821 schools providing meals for students, 1,620 have its own inside kitchen, 883 have canteen and 318 are provided meals by outside caterers. Most preschools have its own inside kitchens.
Just around 32.1 percent of primary schools and over 20 percent of junior and senior high schools in HCMC have kitchens. Nguyen Dai Ngoc from the Management board of food safety said that junior and senior high schools have canteens rather than kitchen; accordingly, authority will inspect these facilities. Deputy Director of Education Bureau in Thu Duc District Le Thi XInh said that many canteens in schools sell food without indication of clear origin, and date of expiry.
The management board said five poisoning incidents in school affecting 305 students have occured in the city since 2014. Inspectors have paid visits to caterers to check food safety unregularly. Additionally, cooks and assistants have little knowledge of food safety, especially how to preserve food correctly.
Head of Food Safety Management Board Ms. Pham Khanh Phong Lan said leaders of school must take responsibility for poisoning incidents.
Next time, HCMC will carry out synchronous measures to control food safety matter such as reviewing issuance of certificates to kitchens, canteens and caterers for schools as well as enhance supervisions and encourage people to buy safe food with clear origins.
As per an agreement between the Department of Education and Training and the Management Board on food safety, schools in districts 3 and 5 will be provided with safe food.