IPOH: Eight food poisoning cases have been reported in schools in Perak so far this year, says Abdul Aziz Bari (pic).
The state Education Committee chairman said five cases were reported in boarding schools and the remaining three cases happened in school canteens.
"Based on the information we received from the state Health Department, the main causes of food poisoning are improper handling of food preparation, lack of monitoring on the correct temperature for storing food and contaminated raw ingredients.
"The state considers this issue a serious matter and has set up a task force to monitor and investigate the problem," he said when replying to Khairuddin Abu Hanipah (BN-Belanja) during the question-and-answer session at the state assembly sitting on Tuesday (Nov 19).
"The task force comprises officers from the state and district Education Department, as well as the Health Department," he said.
Aziz said the Education Department had on May 3 issued a letter to all schools and district education offices, reminding them to take precautionary measures and to prioritise cleanliness in school canteens and kitchens.
He said all canteen operators also need to go through an assessment by the state Health Department.
"Those who received Grade C will be issued a letter by the Education Ministry and will not be given extension in their contract," he said.
"They (operators) may also be blacklisted," he added.