PHIs to strictly regulate school canteens

Suppiah Partheepan distributes homemade food during lunchtime at the canteen of his sons' school, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, July 11, 2005. The family, who lost a 4 year old girl named Madusia, first took refuge in the Anapandi Hindu temple after their house was flattened in the tsunami. They were then moved to the Hindu college and placed in tents donated by aid organizations. Six months later, they were still living on the land where their tents were set up, but they also had a partition of their own in a tin hut with a thatched roof. With earned and borrowed money, plus a little given to them for the loss of Madusia, the family bought a small piece of land, where they plan to start anew.

The Public Health Inspectors’ Association states that a programme will be launched in order to regulate the canteens of schools across the island.

Speaking in a press briefing held in Colombo on September 24, the President of the association, Upul Rohana mentioned that PHIs have decided to inspect all the school canteens in the near future.

“We hope to strictly monitor the school canteens”, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rohana emphasized that although the school canteen policy is not a complete legal document, it is observed that unnecessary issues are created due to unsuitable food being provided to children from the school canteens.

“We have issued a set of guidelines in a circular regarding the food to be sold in canteens mentioning which foods are safe for school children and which foods can be sold in canteens.”

“The school authorities and the individuals who maintain school canteens have been informed in this regard”, he said.

Furthermore, Mr. Rohana pointed out that although there are some issues pertaining to seeking legal action against those who act contrary to it under the Food Act, it is possible to take legal action in any case that creates issues regarding the health of the school children.

“We will strictly regulate the school canteens in the future”, he asserted.



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