Errant food handlers at boarding schools to face immediate termination: Mahdzir

EMBUN MAJID

JITRA: The Education Ministry is looking at immediate termination of contracts of food handlers who have been found to have caused food poisoning among students.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said a new clause has been inserted in the contract which will allow the ministry to terminate the services of the food handlers who have neglected food safety practices and proven to have caused food poisoning.

He said the new clause will take affect on June 1, involving contracts of food handlers at all boarding schools.

Mahdzir said a total 1,310 food handlers have signed contracts with the ministry to provide food at boarding school nationwide.

He said with the new clause, the handlers can be immediately terminated if the Health Department confirmed that a food poisoning case that occurred at a certain hostel was cause by the food prepared and cooked by the handlers.

"Previously, we only give stern warning to the handlers but we will not do it anymore.

"The clause is included because we want to make sure that the food provided to students are safe for consumption," he told reporters after visiting the Sekolah Menengah Sains Pokok Sena here today.

Mahdzir said food poisoning cases recorded at boarding school have increased to 98 last year, from 63 cases in 2015.