City to Strengthen Sanitation Standards Targeting School Meal Providers
Mayor Ko Wen-je pledged to safeguard food safety for the City’s 110,000 students when attending a press event highlighting campus hygiene and the elimination of four types of bacteria on March 17.In light of the mass food poisoning incidents at four schools in Taipei in January, Ko noted that the city government immediately held discussions with meal providers to explore ways on preventing such incidents from happening again in the future. According to the mayor, staff members working in the kitchen were only required to receive screenings for hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis prior to the food contamination incident. Now, to further protect students from bacterial diarrhea, the City has amended health standards for personnel responsible for preparing school meals. Four more types of bacteria will be added to the checklist, including Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and Shigellosis.A total of 11 food service providers handle the lunch services at the City’s 121 schools. The new food safety standards will be added to the next school lunch procurement contracts. The mayor stressed the importance of ensuring the health of kitchen staff and enacting new hygiene SOP to reduce the outbreak of food-borne illnesses at schools.