Food poisoning in school: Canteen operators' contract to be terminated

Food poisoning in school: Canteen operators' contract to be terminated
Mahdzir says multiple warning notices have been sent out to school canteen operators but the act has not been effective. - Image for illustration purposes only
GOPENG: The contracts of food service providers and operators at school canteens or dormitory dining halls will be terminated immediately, in the event of food poisoning cases.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the action was necessary as multiple warning notices to the concerned parties have not been effective.

"Food poisoning in schools is something serious, which is why we (ministry) do not want to give anymore warnings. This clause (for termination of service) will be added as a new term in the contract of appointment for food operators or providers.
"I will go back to the ministry and check on this," he told reporters after opening the Gopeng UMNO division delegates' meeting here Sunday.

Mahdzir, who is also UMNO Supreme Council member, was commenting on an increase in the number of food poisoning cases in schools recently.

In the latest case, 53 students from the Kuala Kangsar Malay College (MCKK) were confirmed to be suffering from food poisoning after having meals provided by the food operator at the college dining hall last Wednesday.

Initial investigations revealed that the van used to transport food was dirty, while other utensils such as food trays, jugs, water dispensers, bowls, and plates were not cleaned properly.

Yesterday, Perak State Health Director Datuk Dr Juita Ghazalie said 10 food poisoning cases involving schools across Perak had been recorded so far, this month.