Monday, 3 April 2017
ALOR SETAR: The Education Ministry will introduce three new clauses to all contracts of hostel food operators with effect from 1 June 2017 to address the rising number of food poisoning cases among hostel students nationwide.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the ministry was now able to terminate the contracts of hostel food operators found guilty of food poisoning cases; to insist food managers of Category A boarding schools (with more than 600 students) will need to possess at least a diploma or a minimum of 3 years’ experience in the field; and to add another year to the existing 2-year contract (2+1) to contractors who have performed well.
He said the move was important to ensure food prepared at the hostels by contractors were of high standard. Stern action will be taken against those found guilty of any food poisoning cases.
“This initiative was taken by the ministry after the number of food poisoning cases involving school hostel students rose from 63 incidents in 2015 to 98 last year,” he said.
The new clauses would be added into new contracts signed between the ministry and the hostel food operators. Those who have signed the contracts will be bound by the new agreement once their current contract expires.
“We want to ensure all food prepared at the hostels are of good quality. The increased number of food poisoning cases involving hostel students is a major concern to us,” he told a press conference after launching the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification pilot project for school hostel kitchens at SM Sains Kubang Pasu in Jerlun near here.
Mahdzir said the project was a collaboration between the Education Ministry and the Health Ministry to certify hostel operators that performed well and followed all specifications. The 3 schools will be involved in this pilot project are Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah in Putrajaya, Sekolah Seri Puteri (Cyberjaya) and SM Sains Kubang Pasu (Kedah).
“Investigations by the Health Ministry revealed that many of the poisoning cases were due to unhygienic food preparation in the hostel kitchens. Previously without the inclusion of the three clauses, the ministry was only able to give warnings. However those warnings have fallen on deaf ears,” he said.
Source by: Internet