Parents angry about unsafe food at nursery schools

VietNamNet Bridge - Hundreds of kilos of vegetables with unclear origin were brought to seven schools in Tay Ho district in Hanoi, creating a public stir.


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It is estimated that 1.4 million servings of food are provided to children every day. 


“We have to pay VND30,000 for a lunch. We cannot imagine that we have to pay so much money to buy dirty food for our children,” one parent complained.

Trung Thanh Catering Company, which had signed contracts with schools, was caught providing unsafe food. It collected vegetables and food with unclear origin from Van Noi Market in Dong Anh district in Hanoi and provided schools with ‘clean & safe food’.

According to Le Hong Vu, head of the Tay Ho district education sub-department, the schools were told to stop accepting catering from Trung Thanh. However, the schools still cannot find partners committed to supply safe vegetables. Instead, they have to buy vegetables from supermarkets. 

A report shows that about 1,400 schools in Hanoi provide lunches to children at schools. 

However, as Dan Tri commented, no one can say for sure if vegetables from supermarkets are ‘safe’. In fact, consumers still have to buy food with unclear origin in the markets as they don’t know where to buy safe food.

Nguyen Thanh Long, deputy head of the Tay Ho district education sub-department, said it was difficult to identify whether the food was safe or not.

Under the current regulations, schools must ensure safe food is provided to day-boarding children by cooperating with licensed catering companies. 

The regulations also stipulate that school officers have to examine the food on delivery. However, it is nearly impossible for schools to examine the food quality provided to them.

According to Nguyen Tuan Phuong from the Environment Police Division, companies like Trung Thanh, if caught providing unsafe food to schools, would be fined VND1-3 million only.

A report shows that about 1,400 schools in Hanoi provide lunches to children at schools. 

Some schools prepare meals themselves and others cooperate with food processing companies, while the remaining rely on catering companies. It is estimated that 1.4 million servings of food are provided to children every day. 

Hoang Phuong Hoa, a parent in Cau Giay district, said she worried about sending her four-year-old child to school.

“The information about dirty food and child abuse has worried me,” she said.

“My child goes to a school in Cau Giay district, not Tay Ho. But I still feel insecure about the quality of the meals he has at school. The thing that happened in Tay Ho district may also happen at any other school because of the poor management of food quality,” she said.

“Even if we accept to pay high prices, we cannot be sure our children will have safe food,” she complained.


Thanh Lich

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