Thank you to those parents who have shared with me their questions about our catering service in light of the unacceptable standard of service quality provided in some other Shanghai schools.
I wish to reiterate, after my email on Monday, that Britannica does not use these same providers.
I would like to reassure parents that we work closely with our catering partner SLETO to ensure that the very highest standards of hygiene and storage are achieved and maintained, from supplier to school to preparation to delivery to your child’s plate.
There are a number of rigorously implemented processes used by SLETO and monitored by our Site Manager Alex Xue and myself to ensure that our food is fresh, healthy and safe to eat:
- The fridges, salad stores and freezers are only large enough to hold food for two days, therefore there is no chance of food being able to run over expiry date.
- The food in the dry storage area, which is expected to last more than two days is dated and stock rotation takes place to ensure no food can go off.
- There are specifically marked areas for food preparation in the kitchens for meat, vegetables and salads. We have bacteria killing UV lights fitted in preparation areas and serving areas.
- There are CCTV cameras in the kitchen and serving area which are monitored externally by Shanghai Health and Hygiene Bureau. The Health and Hygiene Bureau come into school 3 or 4 times each year to undertake a random spot check of all kitchen facilities and procedures and take away food samples for testing.
- The SLETO team keep samples every day of each different food prepared, ready for testing if a member of the school falls ill after consuming school food. These are kept for a minimum of three days.
- Our Chef John undertakes random internal audits each month.
- Kitchen workers are given suitable clothing to ensure each member of the team working with food are adhering to the highest standards of hygiene.
- All staff working in the kitchens have to go for regular health checks at the hospital to ensure they are suitable to be working in a kitchen.
- The kitchens are deep cleaned every Friday. The food preparation and service areas are cleaned every day before and after food is prepared and served.
- SLETO keeps certificates to prove where all food is sourced and how it is transported. We have licences to prove that the food has been tested for pesticides and herbicides. Imported food comes with licences to prove its source of origin and the use of appropriate importing channels.
Ms Alex Xue and I regularly meet with Chef John. On a monthly basis Chef John will give us an inspection tour of the kitchens and each month I report to Orbital Head Office on food hygiene and safety in our kitchens. As a result of both SLETO’s rigorous processes and our careful monitoring of those, we are confident here at Britannica that your child enjoys a healthy, nutritious, fresh and safe meal each day.
I will be inviting a small group of parents to accompany Ms Alex Xue and I on our next tour of the kitchens so that Chef John can share with them directly the processes that they have in place. If you would like to join this group and represent the parent body, then please do contact Jessie Xie at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will need to limit the numbers on this tour to make it logistical. After the tour, we will re-post on WeChat including pictures of our kitchens and those parents touring can also report back to the parent community.
Principal, Britannica International School, Shanghai