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Food safety improving in schools, says agency

14:37 29/06/2017

Food safety in Belgian school kitchens is improving, according to the annual report just released by the federal food safety agency (Favv).

Food safety in school has been a cause for concern for a number of years. Three years ago, some one-third of schools across the country scored poorly in inspections, usually because of problems concerning facilities, infrastructure and hygiene. Last year, however, 80% received a positive evaluation.

Factors that can negative affect food safety are improper storage temperatures, a lack of hygiene of surfaces that come into contact with foods, insufficient personal hygiene of staff and the wearing of unsuitable or dirty clothes. “To improve the situation in school kitchens, we organised trainings, which are now paying off,” Afsca spokesperson Katrien Beullens told De Standaard.

It appears that trainings are now needed, however, in prisons and hospitals. According to the report, only 38.5% of prison kitchens performed well in 2016 – though Favv emphasised that only a small number of inspections were carried out.

The situation in hospital kitchens is more clear: 65% received a positive evaluation last year, compared to 72.6% a year before.

Of the 120,000 inspections carried out in kitchens, bars and restaurants last year, more than 87% passed inspections.

Written by Andy Furniere (Flanders Today)