Cyprus Mail

School canteens ripping off pupils, inspection finds

SCHOOL canteen inspections carried out until February have found price violations and substandard products, while pupils were also sold products that were not on the official lists, the consumer association said on Thursday.

The association said it had participated in 78 canteen inspections carried out by local committees by the end of February this year.

According to a statement, 61 per cent of the inspections were conducted at primary schools, 21 per cent at gymnasiums, and 18 per cent at lyceums and technical schools.

The inspections found that products were sold higher than the approved prices while canteens also sold stuff that was not on the approved lists.

They also found in certain cases that sandwiches did not meet the standards, either being lighter or containing banned ingredients.

Inspectors also found that pupils did not know well the approved prices and products. The health ministry had also failed to train canteen proprietors as the law mandates, the statement said,

Specifically, inspections at 22 canteens in a particular area with 35 outlets, found that 46 per cent sold sandwiches that did not meet the prescribed standards, 73 per cent sold products that were not on the pricelist, and 88 per cent charged a different price than what had been approved for at least one product.

School committee are responsible for monitoring canteens to ensure they fulfilled the terms of their contracts, including the obligation to have a pricelist.

The consumer association urged all departments involved to do their share to resolve the problems.


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