How safe is your school canteen?

We all know that food safety is an incredibly important part of day-to-day living, hence the myriad food authorities, health codes and inspection agencies all over the world dedicated to ensuring that food is handled hygienically, and comes from the right sources.

The same rigor with which we police our food at home must be applied to the food that your children eat at school. After all, up to half of your child’s daily nutritional intake comes from their school lunch. Their energy for focusing on school activities will also come from this critical meal. It’s absolutely imperative that these school meals be healthy, and safe to eat.

Says Jehaina Hassan Al Ali of the Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, “All schools need to comply with the Dubai Food Code with regard to cooked food in terms of preparation, transportation, storage and display.”

The Dubai Municipality Food Code contains extensive measures to enact a world-class food safety program, including extremely detailed rules for handling everything from allergen management and food packaging, all the way to microwave reheating and handling of raw food.

Failure to comply with food handling can result in uncontrolled growth of pathogenic bacteria, which may lead to a serious stomach bug.

As a parent, you need assurance that your child’s school canteen is safe and healthy. Fortunately, a new initiative called Food Watch is being undertaken by Dubai Municipality, which aims to provide detailed information about the nutritional content of every food business in Dubai, including every school canteen.

A good school will also choose a safe, healthy caterer to serve their kids. Swiss International School in Dubai employs the services of Swiss Canonica Catering, a part of the SWISSCANONICA Group, whose expertise in the food industry spans almost seven decades. With Swiss Canonica Catering, our canteens are stocked with 100% healthy items, with rotating menus that provide students with an array of healthy and delicious options, which are assured to be held to the highest standards of food safety.

According to Jonathan Shippee from SwissCanonica, “our team takes food safety very seriously, working with DM to comply with the training of staff, monitoring food temperatures and ensuring that suppliers meet the strict government standards.  We are working with the government to implement to Food Watch program to take food safety to the next level.”

Shippee also emphases that SwissCanonica follows the KHDA and DM guidelines regarding school nutrition.  “One of our most important jobs is to ensure that we are serving good quality, nutritious food in schools, and to closely follow local initiatives to ensure students in Dubai are receiving healthy meals.”



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