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More school canteens to open doors

By ZOU SHUO | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-31 09:20

Students in Sichuan province eat healthy, free meal at school, Sept 6, 2017. [Photo/IC]

All schools in major cities should have open canteens by the end of next month to ensure food safety for students, according to the Ministry of Education.

Currently, about 84 percent of the 380,000 canteens at kindergartens, primary and secondary schools nationwide are open for public scrutiny, Wang Dengfeng, head of the ministry's Department of Physical, Health and Arts Education, said on Tuesday.

The move, carried out by the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in September, follows an education campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" that was launched by the Communist Party of China in June.

Since then, market regulation authorities have conducted 720,000 inspections on school canteens, food suppliers and vendors near schools, said Ma Rulin, deputy director of the department of food operation safety and supervision under the State Administration for Market Regulation.

A total of 60,000 such venues were asked to make corrections to comply with food safety standards. Market regulation authorities handed down fines of 13.1 million yuan ($1.86 million) and closed 764 food venues that didn't have proper licenses.

Two officials in Chengdu, Sichuan province, were suspended in March over a food safety incident at the primary school affiliated with Chengdu No 7 High School Development School.

Thirty-six students were taken to the hospital after moldy food was found in the school canteen.

The students were later discharged by the Chengdu Fifth People's Hospital.

Administrators at kindergartens, primary and secondary schools should eat with students at school canteens to strengthen the safety of campus food, according to a notice issued by the Ministry of Education, State Administration for Market Regulation and National Health Commission in March.

Schools should keep a record of each meal and resolve any food problems as soon as possible.

Parents can also eat with students at school canteens and give suggestions to the school on food safety and nutrition, it said.

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