Home News Pilchards off the menu at schools

Pilchards off the menu at schools

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The canned fish is a common item consumed in all schools which offer the NSNP to more than 9.2 million pupils every school day.

PILCHARDS have been taken off the menu at schools in the Northern Cape after the Department of Basic Education (DBE) suspended with immediate effect the serving of canned pilchards as part of the national school nutrition menu across all schools in the country.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Lehuma Ntuane confirmed that pilchards had been discontinued as part of the nutritional feeding programme in the Province.

More than 266 000 pupils from 500 schools in the Province benefit from the nutrition programme.

The decision to remove pilchards from the feeding programme follows a recent order by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) that all formal wholesalers, retailers and informal traders remove and stop selling the 400g pilchards in tomato sauce and 400g pilchards in chilli sauce with immediate effect.

“This follows the outcome of the NRCS investigation which revealed a deficiency in the canning process.

“Following this announcement, the DBE has instructed all provinces to communicate with their respective suppliers to stop supplying these products as part of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) menu with immediate effect,” the DBE in a statement.

The canned fish is a common item consumed in all schools which offer the NSNP to more than 9.2 million pupils every school day.

In addition, the department advised provinces to check all pilchards stock against the official list of products and product codes ZST29 and ZSC29 in the attached official communication from the NRCS, and follow the guidance provided therein.

The department further advised provinces to replace pilchards with other sources of protein from their approved menus in the meantime.

The department reassured parents, pupils and members of the public that it is doing everything in its power to ensure that no pupil was compromised.

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