The Council’s Education Department and Provider Service work closely with the Public Protection Service to ensure that the 119 school kitchens in Gwynedd meet national food hygiene requirements.
School food hygiene inspections are carried out on a regular basis across Gwynedd. If a kitchen does not meet the necessary standards a detailed action plan is drawn up to address the problems identified within a set period of time before a re-inspection is undertaken.
Following the introduction of the new Food Hygiene Rating System in October 2010, Gwynedd Council decided to proactively incorporate the new system into its school kitchen improvement programme.
As a result of this proactive approach to food hygiene in school kitchens Gwynedd Council is investing significant sums of money in school kitchens across the county. During the recent school summer holiday period alone, approximately £100,000 was invested to improve and upgrade school kitchens.
As reported in an article published in the Daily Post newspaper on 1 September, this proactive series of school kitchen inspections has identified eight school kitchens which needed to be improved to meet the new standards. The problems areas in all eight schools related mostly to deficiencies in the fabric / infrastructure of the kitchen buildings themselves.
Since the inspections were carried out, decisive action has been taken to address most of the points raised. It is expected that all the remaining improvements will have been completed by the end of October 2011.
The inspection report does not criticise the food handling arrangements of school kitchen staff who have formal systems in place to record and monitor the safety and quality of the food they prepare on a daily basis.
Gwynedd Council’s Provider Service – the department responsible for preparing and cooking school meals – has achieved the industry quality accreditation (ISO9000:2008) every year for the past ten years and all Gwynedd school kitchen staff have achieved the CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) Level 2 in Food Hygiene. Both accreditations demonstrate the Council’s commitment to providing excellent service in all school kitchens.