According to a report published by a consumer watchdog, as many as ten school canteens in North Wales are failing to meet food hygiene standards.
The Food Standard Agency (FSA) investigated a number of schools in North Wales as part of its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and found that many were not up to scratch.
Of those identified as poorly performing, two were in Denbighshire and eight were in Gwynedd. These schools were given a score of two or below, which means that improvements to food hygiene training and policy urgently need to be made.
Despite this criticism, a spokesperson for Gwynedd Council made the point that a lot of the problems noted in the report related to the fabric of the old school buildings rather than to the aptitude of kitchen staff.
Liz Withers, who works for Consumer Focus Wales, commented on the situation, saying:
“It is quite shocking so many schools across Wales have below standard food hygiene ratings. There can be no excuses for them failing the children they serve.
“While we are not saying parents shouldn’t let their children have school dinners this coming term, we encourage those whose local school requires improvements to put pressure on them and the local authority to raise food safety standards. Although progress has been achieved, we cannot be complacent.”