|The spoiled fishes delivered to Long Binh primary school in Binh Duong Province were discovered by students' parents. — Photo thanhnien/com.vn
BINH DUONG (VNS) — Authorities have told Long Binh Primary School to stop providing canteen lunches for students until doubts about contaminated food are cleared up.
Deputy Head of Bau Bang District's education and training department Nguyen Tuan Tu said that the matter was being investigated.
He said that other schools that provided lunch for students had also been told to inspect their food supplies and processing methods.
As many as five schools in the district have signed contracts with Nhat Phu Hao Ltd, a company specialising in food delivery.
Nhat Phu Hao Ltd's head office is in Binh Duong Province's Tan Uyen Township, but it leases the Long Binh Primary School canteen for the cooking of food.
The primary school has 774 pupils, of which 650 have registered for the lunch at school.
The food suspected of being contaminated was identified as comprising 72kg of fish and 12kg of meat.
The food was intercepted while it was being transported to the Long Binh Primary School canteen last Thursday after the parents of students detected a foul odour. They asked relevant authorities to prepare a report for further investigation of the case.
The company that supplied food to Nhat Phu Hao Ltd has allegedly admitted that the meat and fish were spoiled as they had been transported over a long distance.
However, the parents of the students in the primary school rejected the explanation.
On Tuesday morning, the Long Binh Primary School's management board tried to negotiate a new canteen deal with parents, but parents continued to object. They demanded that the school management board clarifies who was to blame for the supply of the contaminated food.
Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper also reported that recently, 65 students were poisoned by canteen food at Nguyen Thanh Tuyen Primary School in HMC City.
Speaking about canteen poisonings in HCM City, Dr Tran Van Ky from the Viet Nam Food Safety Association said catering businesses usually supplied low-price meals to make higher profit.
"So it is easy to understand that they the choice of low-price foods often means unsafe food," Ky told the newspaper.
To avoid food poisoning, many schools have stopped using catering services and hired their own cooks to do the job, Nguyen Thanh Trieu, vice principal of Nguyen Van To Secondary School, said.
"To ensure meal quality, schools should appoint staff to check food quality during the cooking process," he said.
Ky said fines for breaching food safety rules were not high enough to deter violators.— VNS