160 schools in HCMC required to submit lunch pictures daily for quality control

By Le Nguyen   November 8, 2023 | 03:31 pm PT
160 schools in HCMC required to submit lunch pictures daily for quality control
Students at HCMC's Phuoc Thanh Primary School eat lunches on Nov. 7, 2023. Photo courtesy of the Phuoc Thanh Primary School
Over 160 schools in HCMC's Thu Duc City have been requested to send pictures of their lunches daily to the education department, in light of recent concerns about students' meals in school.

Nguyen Thai Vinh Nguyen, head of the Thu Duc Department of Education and Training, on Wednesday said 160 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the city have begun to send pictures of their school lunches to the department as a way to manage the meals' quality.

"In case parents said the food quality is unsatisfactory, we can have the data to make comparisons and evaluations," Nguyen said.

Thu Duc City is the first locality in HCMC to request pictures of daily meals to be submitted to the education department. In the past, personnel would make either announced or unannounced checks at the kitchen instead.

Le Thi Kim Ngan, principal of the Phuoc Thanh Primary School in Thu Duc City, said she agrees with the request. Besides sending pictures to the department, the school would also send them to parents.

"This would help make parents feel more reassured, and to have a basis to compare the menu's items to the students' actual meals, and so issues can be reported promptly if something goes wrong," she said.

The move came as an effort to manage students' meals in Thu Duc City. Since the beginning of the school year, the quality of school meals has been a concern for several parents. In Thu Duc last week, six schools had to suspend school lunches after parents found spoiled chicken meat at the food providing unit. In early October, parents at the Phuoc Long B kindergarten said the school bought expensive food and expressed concerns about their children's meals.

School lunches are being organized in accordance with regulations by the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Health and other local authorities. Schools can either cook the meals themselves, or hire food providers to do so.

The food must have food safety certificates and their quality, freshness and temperatures must be checked. Cooked food must have samples stored for 24 hours so they can be checked if issues come up.

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