More schools using certified, traceable local ingredients in lunches

  • Date: 2017-11-09
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te today said the government has been working with elementary and junior high schools to better manage lunch ingredients and ensure that students are eating safe, quality and domestically grown agricultural products.

As part of Taiwan’s five-point food safety policy, the government has been encouraging schools to purchase ingredients bearing certification and traceability labels, the premier said following a Council of Agriculture (COA) briefing on the use of local ingredients in school lunches.

Ensuring food safety for school lunches is a long-term effort requiring close cooperation among the central government, local authorities and schools, Premier Lai continued. He instructed the COA, the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education to set up a food ingredient safety control mechanism, strengthen the schools’ self-management capabilities, and implement other food traceability systems.

According to the COA, this program was first rolled out on a trial basis during the second semester of the 2016 academic year in Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Taichung City, Tainan City, Yilan County and Taitung County. The program then expanded to other locales in Taiwan as well as Penghu County in the 2017 academic year, and will reach more locales and offshore islands in the first half of the 2018 year. The program is expected to cover all of Taiwan by the second half of the 2018 year.

The policy will improve the quality of school lunch ingredients and ensure that students eat safe and healthy foods. In addition, increasing demand for better ingredients will benefit domestic food suppliers, raise the proportion of traceable products, and promote food and farming education, the council added.