No soft drinks, spicy food or ice cream in capital schools

ABU DHABI — Spicy foods, soft drinks and ice cream will be banned at school canteens in Abu Dhabi during the academic year, according to an official.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz

Published: Sun 27 Aug 2006, 9:11 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:17 PM

“Spicy meals, saturated oils, carbonated water such as soft drinks, gums, ice creams and preservatives like E621, E252 and E249 have been banned,” Nadia Maddi, Deputy Manager for Private and Quality Teaching at the Abu Dhabi Education Zone (ADEZ), told Khaleej Times, elaborating on the new terms set for food suppliers approved by the Zone.

About 43 food suppliers --- 17 restaurants and bakeries, in addition to 16 firms dealing in water and dry foods --- have been approved by the ADEZ to start providing both public and private schools with meals during the academic year.

“The suppliers should comply with the instructions banning the use of preservatives, artificial colours, etc,” Maddi said. She asserted that the ADEZ is committed to protecting children’s health. “More than 75 per cent of the students have the meals at their school canteens. So we have to take care of our children’s health,” she added.

If the rules are flouted, there will be severe penalties. Habiba AL Mohanadi, head of the Canteens Department at the ADEZ, said that first, any supplier found guilty of violating the regulations will be served a warning notice. If the supplier does it for the second time, the offender will be fined Dh 3000, and for the third third time, the fine will go up to Dh 5000.

“The ADEZ this year stopped dealing with a supplier who breached the terms and conditions regarding the protection of children’s health. The supplier provided food stuffs past their expiry dates,” Al Mohanadi added.

She said that the health control committee also has the right to discontinue the contract and confiscate the deposit of Dh 20,000 if there’s violation.

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