Wed, Dec 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Public school food tracking system to reach all campuses

Staff writer, with CNA

More schools are to be included in the nation’s growing food traceability project next year, providing protection to more children in the wake of several food safety scandals, officials said.

The food traceability project was launched in 2011 and initially focused on processed foods, before adding fresh produce from supermarkets and ingredients used by restaurant chains, in school meals and by meat processors.

The system has shown its best results in campus food management.

The program tracks school lunches at 2,142 elementary and junior-high schools in the five municipalities — Taipei, New Taipei City, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung — as well as in Hsinchu City and Taoyuan, Changhua, Yunlin and Yilan counties.

On Monday, Vice Minister of Education Chen Der-hwa (陳德華) said at a meeting on the tracking project that by February, all schools nationwide are to be included in the system, and food for lunches at nursery schools will be traceable online by August.

Interim Food and Drug Administration director-general Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said that because the project requires all companies to register, it quickly identified a culprit in a recent food scandal that involved dried tofu using a banned industrial dye.

The Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology said that the project also aims to target bulk commodities, such as sugar, salt, flour, starch, soybeans, corn and wheat by July of next year.

The board is also scheduled to include other foods in stages between 2016 and 2019.

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