School principals as restaurateurs: why children's food has become dangerous

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School principals as restaurateurs: why children's food has become dangerous
School principals as restaurateurs: why children's food has become dangerous
20 October 2021, 09:50Society
Mass poisoning of children in schools seems to have become an all-Russian problem. The scandal in Klin erupted shortly after the entry into force of the Law "On the quality and safety of food products."

What is wrong with school meals was discussed today at the press conference "Mass poisoning of children: a systemic problem of school meals."

Irina Mishina

Состояние отравившихся в школьной столовой г.Клин детей потребовало экстренной госпитализации. Фото: Рен ТВ

The law “On the quality and safety of food products” and amendments to the law “On education in the Russian Federation” entered into force on September 1. From now on, the primary school must provide children with free hot meals at least once a day at the expense of budget funds. It would seem that outsourcing with its imported lunches should come to an end, and schoolchildren should begin to be fed normal fresh hot food. But everything turned out according to the well-known saying: "We wanted the best, but it turned out as always".

Следственный комитет по Московской области начал расследование в связи с отравлением детей в Клину.

The message about the poisoning of 42 students from Klin near Moscow reached the Investigative Committee. A criminal case was opened there on violation of sanitary standards. On October 15, 42 schoolchildren from this city near Moscow went to the hospital with signs of food poisoning, several people were hospitalized. Astro- and rotoviruses were found on objects and equipment for cooking in the school cafeteria, which could have got there from someone's hands or clothes. Preliminary investigation revealed that college students, not qualified chefs, prepared meals for the children.

The comedy of the situation is that, simultaneously with the mass poisoning of schoolchildren in mid-October, the very influential "Red Guide Michelin" handed out stars and other insignia to 69 Moscow restaurants. This is a very high distinction. Why are there two types of food in Russia: restaurant food of the highest quality, and school food, which is dangerous for the life and health of children? Why are cases of poisoning in school canteens being investigated so long and reluctantly? Let us remind you that the criminal case related to the mass poisoning of children in Krasnoyarsk has not yet been completed. There, in the period from February 18 to March 1, 91 children fell ill in 20 schools in the region, 56 of them ended up in the hospital. There has never been such a massive incident involving children in Russia.

Complaints about school meals have become widespread. In this regard, a press conference was held at the Public News Service on the topic "Mass poisoning of children: a systemic problem of school meals." Interesting details were revealed on it.

Такой обед из сырых котлет предлагают детям в одной из школ Ярославля. Фото: соцсети.

“School directors have become restaurateurs since September 1. They have to organize the school kitchen themselves. It is clear that not everyone has enough experience and knowledge for this. In my opinion, there should be good feedback from the parents. It seems to me that every director must sign a clear contract, which will indicate not only the amount of remuneration for his services in this regard, but also his responsibility is clearly spelled out. After all, what's going on? There are so many high-profile cases of poisoning in Russia, and not a single director has ever compensated for the treatment of injured children", - says Alexander Brazhko, coordinator of the For Honest Products movement.

The journalists were greatly impressed by the story of the relatives of the girl who was injured in Krasnoyarsk during the mass poisoning in February-March of this year. “Our child ended up in intensive care, kidney failure was a consequence of irseniosis poisoning. The child cannot recover in any way, he is often sick, he had to switch to home education. The diagnosis after discharge reads: "chronic kidney disease", "acute renal failure." There were 2 forensic medical examinations, which established the reasons for the loss of health by the child. But the same supplier that supplied the poisoned food continues to supply the schools with it. Nobody compensated us for the damage, the school didn't even apologize. We are told: "The suppliers are to blame." But who organized this meal? Didn't the unscrupulous suppliers themselves come to school? We are still treating the child at our own expense, but the school is on the sidelines”, - said Vladimir Kozlobayev, the grandfather of the injured student .

Такое странное блюдо предлагают отведать школьникам Златоуста. Фото: 31TV.ru

The head of the Public Center for Combating Counterfeiting, Igor Bolbat, also said that during the investigation of the mass poisoning in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, threats to parents were identified, demands to withdraw their statements. According to him, often in the event of poisoning of children, the school administration forces the parents to write a statement that they have no complaints.

The participants in the press conference suggested involving representatives of Rospotrebnadzor in the control of food in schools, in addition to parental organizations, and in case of detection of low-quality food and food - to involve the Investigative Committee and the FSB for control. Including to control the spending by school principals of budgetary funds allocated for children's meals.

“Well, it's no secret that any intrusion by parents into the sphere of control over school meals causes a sharply negative reaction from the administration and school principals. I tried at one time to establish a system of control on the part of parents over nutrition, but I was immediately expelled from the Governing Board of the school. The parental control mechanism does not work. It is necessary to introduce additional responsibility for the school director and for the administration for poor-quality food and damage to the health of children”, - said Aleksey Khakimov, a representative of the public organization “Helping parents in organizing public control and safe quality of products in the Central Federal District”.

True, the parents' claims are not always justified. This is because the concepts of "tasty food" and "healthy food" do not always coincide. “There are cases when restaurateurs win tenders and feed children in schools. But even in these cases, the index of inedibility still remains high, up to 60%. This is partly due to the fact that children are not accustomed to proper nutrition. Yes, in schools everything is boiled, steamed, according to SanPins, the salt norm in food is minimal. Of course, guys who are accustomed to hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries will have inadequate response to proper dietary nutrition at school. And parents also need to work with this”, - the deputy explained. Ekaterina Alekseeva, Chairman of the SROO "Public Control of Yekaterinburg".

In any case, the problem of school feeding needs to be reconsidered. Today, schools can abandon outsourcing and organize a school cafeteria like a restaurant, but not everyone wants to do this. It is especially difficult to organize food control in large school complexes - the food situation there is the most difficult today.

“At the same time, we must not forget that the budgetary financing of each child is per capita, that is, the interests of each student must be taken into account not only when organizing the educational process, but also in terms of his nutrition. We propose to additionally insure the life and health of each child, and not for ridiculous amounts, but for 5-10 million rubles, so that the responsibility of the school principals is not just words. These sums will allow all the participants in the process to work in good faith”, - says Oleksandr Brazhko.

In the meantime, the only way to deal with poor-quality school food remains - to publish each specific case in the media and social networks.

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