The Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly is to construct a modern kitchen for all caterers operating in the area under the School Feeding Programme (SFP).
The caterers would also be provided with assorted cooking utensils and potable water to ensure food is provided under strict hygienic condition.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Madam Sandra Owusu-Ahenkorah, disclosed this after a training programme for the caterers on Monday in Accra.
The programme, organised by the assembly, sought to equip the traders with best hygienic practices needed in the execution of their job.
Issues discussed included best hygienic practices, quality of foodstuffs to buy in the markets and environmental cleanliness.
The area, which had previously been under the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, was given a municipality status last year.
She explained that the SFP which was started in 2005, was one of government’s best social interventions that should be jealously guarded to ensure its sustainability.
“Giving a child a hot meal a day is not just any type of meal, but a well balanced and nutritious meal that would help the child concentrate on his studies and not complicate or cause any health problems,” she added.
She indicated that the welfare of the children were dear to her heart, hence the need to support the caterers to provide the children with the best of diets to boost their immune system.
The MCE urged the traders to undertake regular medical check-ups, wear protective gear including aprons and chef hats when preparing the meal for the children.
A Food Scientist, Dr (Mrs) Mavis Owureku-Asare, urged the traders to use local foodstuffs in the preparation of the meal for the children for a balanced diet.
“Local foods must be incorporated into the diets of the children, the use of bouillon cubes among others must be discouraged,” she said.
She stated that brown rice; cassava, cocoyam, yam and plantain if available, could be used to ensure diversity while fish powder, carrots, soya bean, kontomire and cabbage could also be used.
Dr Owureku-Asare, who is a Senior Research Scientist at the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), urged the caterers to refrain from using adulterated and contaminated foodstuffs, especially rotten tomatoes to avoid any health implications for the children.
She appealed to the government and other stakeholders to increase the current amount paid to the caterers to enable them to procure local foodstuffs in food preparation.
Dr Owureku-Asare urged the assembly to liaise with the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service to constantly de-worm the children.
One of the caterers, Madam Ernestina Asante, on behalf of her colleagues urged the assembly to sensitise the school authorities to avoid the constant friction between them and the teachers.
The assembly presented assorted plates, cups and spoons to the caterers.
Source: Ghanaian Times.