MoE HSSE Division holds food safety workshop

National 2 minutes, 21 seconds


THE Ministry of Education (MoE) has reported cases of food poisoning among students after consuming contaminated food in the past year.

An official from MoE's Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Division Health Unit said one secondary school's kitchen was temporarily shut down due to unsanitary conditions that had caused students to get food poisoning.

However, Head of HSSE Division Health Unit Siti Nahriah POKMD DSP Hj Abd Wahab said the kitchen had since "been revamped" and is now back up and running.

"It's very nice now, and everything has been taken care of and we've allowed them to begin (food) services again," she added.

Siti Nahriah was speaking to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of a kitchen and dormitory food handling workshop at the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Sultan Saiful Rijal Campus yesterday, which saw the attendance of 40 chefs, cooks and dormitory supervisors.

She said the division has continuously increased efforts to educate chefs and cooks, as well as hostel supervisors, about proper food preparation and handling procedures at government education institutions.

Siti Nahriah said the Health Unit at the Ministry of Education (MoE) was determined to deter food poisoning incidents from happening.

"We want to continuously upgrade our chefs and cooks by keeping them up-to-date in terms of knowledge and practice of proper food handling and service procedures," she said.

The MoE HSSE Division published the Food Poisoning Incident SOP booklet in September 2014, in a bid to facilitate government schools to better handle any potential food poisoning outbreaks.

Speaking at the workshop opening, Head of HSSE Division Pg Nazrul Arif Pg Dato Paduka Hj Md Zain said among the sources of food poisoning in Brunei are food and drinks that might have been consumed at school, especially if minimal attention was paid towards cleanliness, he said.

"To support MoE's mission in provide holistic education to students to achieve their full potential, provision of clean and safe food is one measure in the prevention of food poisoning incidents," he added.

Pg Nazrul Arif urged the participants to make use of and implement best practices in food handling and preparation during the workshop, as such efforts would aid in achieving optimum levels of health and safety at schools.

The food handling workshop was organised by MoE's HSSE Division and Food and Hostel Services Division (BPPA) under the Ministry of Education's Administration and Services Department, in collaboration with IBTE School of Hospitality and Tourism.

The one-day workshop, the first of its kind, hoped to improve knowledge, efficiency and skills of those handling food preparation and service to students and student dormitories at schools receiving food service schemes under MoE, particularly in rural areas.

According to the HSSE Division, the workshop will be extended to over 100 other hostel supervisors, chefs and cooks throughout the country.

The Brunei Times