SEREMBAN: The Health Ministry will step up its checks on school canteens to spare schoolchildren from having food in unclean surroundings.
The ministrys parliamentary secretary S. Sothinathan said health officers would go to the schools to check on the canteens, either as routine operations or follow-ups to complaints from school authorities.
Canteen operators could face severe penalties, including orders to have their premises closed, until they comply with certain requirements, he said.
His warning came in the wake of an order by the Negri Sembilan health department to temporarily close a canteen at a primary school in Taman Bukit Labu here following the operators failure to meet the proper sanitary level.
The canteen, which caters for 2,000 pupils, was ordered to improve the situation or face more stern action.
He urged the school authorities to monitor the cleanliness level of their respective schools and alert the health department if they are unsatisfied with the hygienic standard of the canteen operators.