New health handbook issued to Dubai schools

Tough guidelines for school canteens follow 2010 survey that found many wanting.
Pupils buy food at the canteen at Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School.
Pupils buy food at the canteen at Shaikh Rashid Al Maktoum Pakistan School.
DUBAI // The food being served to pupils will be closely monitored by the municipality's Food Control Department this year.

A guidebook detailing health and nutritional practices for school canteens has been distributed across the emirate.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part covers health and safety requirements and instructions on how to ensure the safety of meals; the second focuses on health and nutritional needs for various age groups.

The new set of rules was drawn up by Dubai Health Authority and the municipality, and covers everything from the type of food being sold to hygiene and safety standards while preparing meals.

Khalid Mohammed Shareef, director of the Food Control Department, called on companies supplying food to schools to obtain the list of approved foods specified in the guidebook.

The municipality is urging schools across Dubai to cooperate and coordinate with it in adhering to the rules and following up on best hygiene practices.

The tightening of controls comes after the health authority conducted a survey of school canteens last year. Of the 216 schools surveyed, 30 per cent were found to be serving hot dogs and burgers, and vending machines were found in 20 per cent of schools, with 12 per cent stocking unhealthy soft drinks.

Published: September 12, 2011 04:00 AM