Friday, March 9, 2012

Check food quality and portions in canteens

A SCHOOL canteen should be kept clean at all times as it is a place where food is prepared and served.

I must say that more should be done to improve the level of hygiene and cleanliness in many canteens. Tables and chairs are not wiped properly after students finish their meals.

Similarly the cutlery, plates and plastic cups are sometimes only rinsed and not washed well.

This attracts flies and cockroaches. Clogged sinks and smelly drains are also a common sight at some schools.

This is not all, school authorities should ensure that there is enough food for students during recess time.

It is usually a case of first come, first served, as the first batch of students are the lucky ones who get to buy and eat the snacks and dishes available.

Since recess time is sometimes staggered in some schools, there is hardly any food left for the second and third batch of students and this is so frustrating and definitely not acceptable.

In fact, many students like me are forced to bring food from home simply because we cannot find anything to eat after the first recess session.

I would also like to point out that the quality of food leaves much to be desired.

I wonder if there are a set of standards and food regualtions that canteen operators need to adhere to.

Food sold at my school canteen is expensive. It costs RM2 for nasi lemak which comes with just a small portion of rice, three pieces of anchovies and a slice of full-boiled egg which is about a tenth of its original size!

It costs the same for mee goreng (fried noodles) without fish cake or egg strips or even bean sprouts.

Chicken rice served with a miserly piece of chicken is RM3 per plate.

While I know that the cost of food items have increased, why is it that mamak mee has more ingredients than the canteen's mee goreng, or why is the nasi lemak bungkus that's sold outside have a bigger portion of rice and is a lot more filling and tastier than the ones sold at the canteen?

Is the canteen operator trying to make a bigger profit by cutting down on the ingredients?

I think that there should be more variety. Dishes like kway teow soup, roti canai and even healthy tea-time snacks like vadai should be introduced.

Education Ministry officials and health authorities should visit schools regularly and carry out spot checks on their canteens to ensure that the premises are clean and schoolchildren are not deprived of wholesome, appetising meals.


(Form 5 Science 2)

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