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Department of Basic Education suspends serving of pilchards in light of National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) canning defect announcement, 26 February 2020

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has suspended with immediate effect the serving of canned Pilchards as part of the National School Nutrition menu across all schools in the country.

The decision is informed by a recent call made by The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, which has ordered that ‘’all formal Wholesalers, Retailers and informal Traders remove and stop selling the 400g Pilchards in Tomato Sauce and 400g Pilchards in Chili Sauce with immediate effect. This follows the outcome of the NRCS investigation which revealed a deficiency in the canning process

Following this announcement, the DBE has instructed all provinces to communicate with their respective suppliers to stop supplying these products as part the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) menu with immediate effect.

The canned fish is a common item consumed in all of our schools which offer the NSNP to more than 9.2 million learners every school day.

The Department has advised provinces as follows to:

  • SUSPEND serving pilchards in the menu with immediate effect
  • Check all pilchards stock against the official list of products and product codes ZST29 and ZSC29 in the attached official communication from the NRCS, and follow the guidance provided therein
  • Replace pilchards with other sources of protein from their approved menus in the meantime

To date the department is pleased that no challenges have been encountered and provinces will be supported as we continue to monitor the situation. 

The Director for NSNP at the DBE, Ms Neo Sediti said the department was working in collaboration with provinces to ensure that food items used in the administration of the NSNP are firstly of a good quality and secondly of a high nutritional standard, ‘’ To date the department has not yet received any negative reports from provinces, we are at this stage trying to proactively stay ahead of the any potential challenges and protect the profile, credibility and integrity of the NSNP’’ added Sediti.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) would like to reassure parents, learners and members of the public that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that no learner is compromised. 

Media Enquiries:   

Elijah Mhlanga –    083 580 8275    Head of Communication
Terence Khala -   081 758 1546     Media Liaison Officer

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 2/26/2020
Number of Views: 650

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