Safety of school food must be as­sured

China Daily (Canada) - - SPORTS -

the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion con­firmed in a state­ment that a pri­vate school in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park served their pupils ex­pired food, in­clud­ing rot­ten and moldy prod­ucts. Bei­jing News com­ments:

The toma­toes were rot­ten. The pork was la­beled with a pro­duc­tion date that had not yet ar­rived.

That’s what par­ents of chil­dren at­tend­ing SMIC Pri­vate School found in its can­teen. In a con­ver­sa­tion with the an­gry par­ents, the head­mas­ter said: “I have promised to su­per­vise. What else do you want?”

Now the head­mas­ter of the school, Zhu Ronglin, has been dis­missed from his po­si­tion, to­gether with two other mem­bers of staff, and the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion has promised to in­ves­ti­gate and pun­ish any­one who has bro­ken the law.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the school out­sourced its cater­ing. If that com­pany is found to have put pupil’s health at risk by us­ing rot­ten and ex­pired food, it should re­ceive its de­served penalty, and its busi­ness li­cense should be re­voked.

Be­sides the en­ter­prise, some other par­ties in­volved in the Shang­hai food safety scan­dal may also be ac­count­able.

The lo­cal food safety de­part­ment could also have done a bet­ter job. If it su­per­vised the can­teens of pri­mary and se­condary schools strictly, the scan­dal might have been avoided. Let this be a les­son to them, and in fu­ture they in­vest more time and en­ergy to pre­vent such things from hap­pen­ing, in­stead of just pun­ish­ing those re­spon­si­ble af­ter the event.

How­ever, even though the school out­sourced its cater­ing it is in charge of its can­teen and it is pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing the food is fit to eat. When the par­ents send pupils to the school, they have en­trusted the safety of the chil­dren to the lat­ter, and the school is re­spon­si­ble of su­per­vis­ing their safety, in­clud­ing food safety.

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