17/06/11 – Statement: Newtownhamilton High School Canteen
The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) was launched in Northern Ireland on 06/06/11. This scheme, which is run in partnership with local Councils and the Food Standards Agency Partnership, has the overall aim of improving food safety.
The scheme provides information on food hygiene to help you choose where to eat out or shop for food, by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops. The scheme also encourages businesses to improve hygiene standards.
The Central Meals Kitchen at Newtownhamilton High School was given a Hygiene Inspection Rating by Newry & Mourne District Council on 17/02/11. Ratings are given on a scale from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) up to 5 (very good). Please note that this rating is not a guide to food quality. The rating given to Newtownhamilton High School was 2 (improvement necessary) with structural requirement identified as the main cause of concern. Confirmation of this rating is available on the link below via the Newry & Mourne District Council website:
This matter was discussed at a Board of Governors meeting on 14/06/11 and an abstract from these minutes is listed below:
Under “Nutritional Standards” solely, Mrs Porter has been awarded “Outstanding”, an accolade that is not lightly earned. This recent poor grading (improvement necessary), directly caused by the dilapidated nature of the building in which she is compelled to work, had resulted in great personal distress for her as she is an honest, hard worker whose facilities are simply long past their sell-by date. Rev Wilson stated that Governors were aware of Sharon’s hard work. Governors were also appreciative of the efforts being made by SELB to address the situation and it was hoped that the feasibility study planned for the near future will produce a solution that will address the deficiencies in the Central Meals Kitchen – a facility that serves the entire community in south Armagh.
To conclude, I wish to reassure all parents and pupils that Mrs Porter and her dedicated team work hard to provide food that is nutritious, wholesome, imaginative, healthy and excellent value for money. There is an old proverb that “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” and I wish to state that I have been eating my break and lunch in the canteen every day for the past 15 years; I have total trust in our canteen ladies and I intend to continue to dine there as it has certainly done me no harm! I appreciate that there are issues relating to the inadequate canteen facilities but I repeat that we are currently working with the SELB to address these issues as soon as practicable in this era of financial stringencies.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns over this matter.