Astana’s school canteens to use video surveillance cameras to enhance food quality

ASTANA – The local government will be installing video surveillance cameras in school canteens and kitchens throughout the city next year in an effort to enhance food quality, said capital education department head Anuar Zhangozin at an Oct. 15 akimat (city administration) briefing.

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Parents suggested the initiative to observe how and what quantities their children are eating. They believe the measure is needed in canteens and kitchens in order to optimise the work of the food quality commission.

“Today, we need to understand that [in order to provide timely] food supply in schools, chefs and [the whole] production process in the kitchen start working from five to six in the morning. No employee, no nurse will come at five in the morning to control the laying of meat for cooking. Only online cameras, only video surveillance will help monitor this process. There is no need for everyone to go into the kitchen; it will be possible to track even remotely, see how much meat was used. Meat is the most relevant and expensive product that is often the subject for discussion,” said Tatyana Korshunova, a representative of the city’s parent community.

Zhangozin noted access to the kitchen videos is currently limited to the parents who work on the control commission and have a sanitary book. Introducing the cameras would allow all parents to watch the quality of their kids’ nutrition.

All educational organisations in the capital created special brokerage commissions last year. According to the results of the monitoring, 14 secondary school heads were brought to disciplinary responsibility and two schools terminated the contracts with their suppliers.

“If the special commissions detect any problems [such as] underweight or non-compliance, [then they will] indicate this in their journals, on the basis of which we can force directors to terminate contracts,” he said.

The commission, composed of educational organisation leaders, a health worker, social school teachers and representatives of the school’s parental committee, conduct regular food quality checks. In case of any violations, they could make the inspections which would result in official acts.

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