Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority Certifies School Canteen Guide for School Canteens
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, in co-operation with Abu Dhabi Health Authority and Abu Dhabi Educational Council, has certified a new guide for school canteens in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the new school year 2011 to 2012.
Mohamed Abdulla Al Fardan, Deputy Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said: ï¿½The new guide comes in the context of seeking to achieve a safe and integrated food environment for our students, in collaboration with the relevant government institutions, to protect them from health related risks and guide them to the correct nutritional practices that will benefit them physically and mentally.
ï¿½The guide is based on the best and the latest scientific references available locally and internationally and aimed to serve the suppliers of products as well as the nutrition officials and administrators in schools,ï¿½ he added. Al Fardan emphasized the great importance to the issue of monitoring and inspection of school canteens for both public and private schools and the provision of the appropriate sanitary conditions because of its significant impact on the health of children, students and consumers. He confirmed that ADFCA would verify that all school canteens, restaurants and suppliers of food for the schools meet the requirements put by ADFCA as well as ensuring their commitment to the rules and regulations.
On his behalf, Dr. Mubarak Al Darmaki, Director of the Department of Health at Abu Dhabi Educational Council praised the co-operation between the three government bodies. He noted the challenges in providing healthy food suitable for students in schools and was pleased that ADEC had been invited to developed appropriate solutions. He explained that ADEC agreed to invite the suppliers of products to schools for a workshop to clearly define the required standards for school canteens, and to train them on how to prepare food which is healthy and supports the health of students in schools.
Dr. Arwa Al Medwahi, Senior Public Health Officer, Family & School Health at Health Authority- Abu Dhabi (HAAD), commented: ï¿½At HAAD, we know the importance of establishing high standards for food in Abu Dhabi schools, ensuring every cafeteria provides a variety of healthy food options to help students meet targets for essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin D.ï¿½ ï¿½We look forward to working with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and Abu Dhabi Education Council to arrange training workshops for schools and their food suppliers, to clarify the reasons behind setting these standards and to offer advice and guidance on how to prepare healthy meals for students each day.ï¿½
The new guide consists of five main sections:
- Section one includes the main aim of the guide and also sets out the standards those organizations that supply foods to schools in the Emirate must meet; the duties of schools around the enforcement of the guide and the classification of school canteens under the specific services they provide.
- Section two deals with the conditions and the hygiene practices that must be enforced within school cafeterias including location, construction, tools, equipment, food preparation areas, and personal.
- The Third section focuses on the nutritional needs of the students, which vary according to the different phases of body growth and how nutrition has an impact on the assimilation and educational attainment among students. The Third section also includes an example menu, using traffic light symbols to highlight the difference between foods e.g. red signifies those foods that are banned and those with the green code are allowed. Those with the yellow code are allowed under certain conditions, such as the amount to be served, or the kind of oil that is used.
- Section four outlines the conditions that must be available in facilities that supply food for the schools and the procedures followed for obtaining a permit from ADFCA to supply the schools in the Emirate.
- Section five includes items of food supplied to schools with an indication of the procedures for obtaining the approval of ADFCA and the procedures for reporting complaints.