File: The Basic Education Department is asking parents to be mindful about the food their children consume at school.
JOHANNESBURG - According to the Department of Basic Education (DBE), no processed meat products are used as part of the national school nutrition programme.
The assurance comes after the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi announced the source of the deadly listeriosis outbreak has been traced to polony and other processed meat.
According to the DBE, the food served as part of the school feeding scheme excludes these types of meat products.
"However, we would like parents and the greater school community to remain vigilant as these food items often form part of packed lunches or are sold to learners by external food vendors outside of schools or at tuckshops," says the DBE.
The DBE has advised schools that volunteer food handlers should maintain a high level of personal hygiene and wash hands at all times, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, ensure safe food preparation, cooking, and serving of meals and cleaning of cooking areas," said the DBE.
It also advised pupils to wash any fruit bought from school vendors before consuming it, practice basic food hygiene principles, and to report to their nearest health care facility if they present with diarrhoea, headache, neck stiffness, confusion, loss of balance and flu-like symptoms.