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Junk Food to be banned for school meals

Junk Food to be banned for school meals

Friday 19th May 2006

The government is launching ambitious plans to forbid the use of unhealthy food in meals supplied by schools. This will initially include items such as 'mechanically-removed meat' in burgers and sausages and the serving of fried food (such as chips) to be limited to a maximum of two meals per week.

Vending machines won't be able to offer items such as fizzy drinks, sweet and crisps - but many of the suppliers owning these machines say they have long-term contracts, and so won't be easily persuaded.

A review last year, including all the 74 local authorities in England, revealed that an average only 41p was allocated per child per meal. The plan is to initially increase this to 47p. However, a spokesman from the Soil Association has said that 70p is a more realistic amount needed to achieve these aims.

Other experts, such as Prue Leith, have said that the increased financial allocation of £220 million isn't nearly enough, as many service staff/dinner ladies will have to be completely retrained, in skills that have been lost.

Other experts are worried that children will simply smuggle-in contraband, or when within reach go down to the local chippy.

There seems to be consensus that if the scheme's to work, the complete co-operation of parents is necessary.