School lunches

Not good to eat food prepared six hours earlier

As a parent of two primary schoolchildren, I am keenly aware of the late lunches that pupils have ("Parents fret over pupils' late lunches despite snack breaks"; Jan 27).

However, having a small break at noon and eating packed food from home is not the solution.

Most pupils need to arrive in school before 7.30am, which means food has to be prepared at around 6am.

Six hours would have passed by the time pupils eat the food at their noon break. This is certainly not within good food hygiene and consumption regulations.

Sandwiches definitely should not be eaten after six hours. However, dry food like biscuits and cereal are hardly ideal food.

Schools should consider providing pupils with a second recess instead, perhaps for 30 minutes at noon. This way, pupils can get freshly prepared food at the canteen.

The impact of having a second recess would be minimal. The dismissal time would be delayed by 30 minutes at most.

Schools overseas run on a single session and their students have lunch in school. If they can do it, we can do the same.

Roy Ong Ban Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2017, with the headline 'Not good to eat food prepared six hours earlier'. Print Edition | Subscribe