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School-food poisonings prompt call for stricter management

(China Daily)

08:35, October 18, 2011

Workers from the local health bureau of Hefei, Anhui province, inspect a school canteen in September. The Ministry of Education reissued its safety requirements for school canteens following a spate of food-poisoning cases that have occurred throughout the country. [Xie Shen / for China Daily]

BEIJING - As a series of food-poisoning cases among students prompted the Ministry of Education to restate its safety requirements for school canteens, several observers said there was nothing inevitable about the mishaps.

"Some people blame increasing food prices for the poor quality of the food, but I think that's wrong," said Chen Chunming, a professor and a retired Ministry of Health official.

"Increasing food prices could make canteens less capable of providing large amounts of food, but not make them provide food that is of so low a quality that it endangers safety."

On Oct 13, the Ministry of Education published an announcement on its website saying that the recent cases of food poisoning have revealed faults in the system used to ensure the food served in schools is safe.

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