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Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem
Yuck! Contractor supplies rotten food with worms to Jerusalem school program
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
26/02/2014
In wake of incident, Knesset denounces lack of supervision of hot-meal supply by contractors to educational institutions.
 
The Jerusalem Municipality on Wednesday demanded that the Health and Education Ministries improve their supervision of contractors’ supply of hot meals to schools and after-school facilities in the city. The announcement followed a complaint from an after-school facility in the capital where rotten food with worms supplied by contractor Ilan Gur was served and a parents of children at the institution issued a protest.
 
The municipality said it has suspended its contract with the private supplier until the Health Ministry provides a report on the food served to the children. Another contractor will supply the meals in the meantime. Currently, the Education Ministry is supposed to supervise such meals.
 
Meanwhile, MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Likud Beitenu), chairman of the Knesset Children’s Rights Committee, said at a committee meeting that only the Health Ministry, with its labs, is qualified to do so. A special committee session will soon be held on the quality of hot meals in educational facilities. Labor MK Hilik Bar demanded that Ilan Gur Ltd. be closed down immediately. Bar  and Levy-Abecassis said that a joint team of parents, local authorities and the two ministries should be established to study and supervise the problem. Some time ago, the ministries accepted the idea that the Health Ministry will be responsible for testing food samples, but nothing has been done so far.
 
Bar noted that the Education Ministry had best occupy itself with educating pupils. Experts in health and nutrition should supervise the quality of food, and clear criteria must be set down, he said. “The photos we saw today {of the rotten food] were shocking, and what was served is liable to cause irreversible damage to our children,” Bar continued.
 
At a previous session of the committee, Bar said there was too much salt, sugar and fat in food served in schools and after-school facilities, but despite promises, the situation has not changed. “For most of the children, it’s their only hot meal every day.”
 
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