Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport spokesman Ros Soveacha said measures to ban several types of “unsafe” food from schools will help prevent food poisoning among pupils, as it increases their awareness.

The ministry has issued guidelines to schools across the country to curb the sale of six types of food. The guidelines say the sale of expired and unlabelled food, alcohol and tobacco products, sugary drinks and confectionary are banned in all educational institutions.

In addition to these, foods that pose a high risk to health are also forbidden, including those that are high in sugar, salt, fat or artificial colouring. The guidelines follow the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The ministry also recommends that vendors in schools sell only products with a clear indication of their source, especially meat products, eggs and vegetables. Unpasteurised dairy products and raw shellfish are also banned.

“The ministry pays close attention to the health of students and education staff at all levels, especially through Ministry of Health mechanisms ... The ministry insists that school management teams maintain high standards. In the event that food is sold on their compound, there must be a contract between the seller and the principal. If the contract is broken, administrative measures must be taken,” he told The Post.

“The ministry welcomes positive cooperation all stakeholders in the promotion of academic health, including food safety in educational establishments,” he added.

He urged all teachers and school administrators to pay close attention to the health of students, as it is an important factor in the success of their studies.