The government approved rules for applying hot meals in schools in the 2022-2023 school year. The project, hereinafter referred to as pilot, although it is in its seventh year, has been extended to 350 schools, but for now only the list of 300 schools is public.
- In each pilot year, without exception, the program implementation rules were adopted after school started. The legal framework precedes the organization of the auctions and then of the table itself, matters that can last from 30 to 90 days. In essence, the authorities forget every time school starts, which leads to the suspension of the right to a hot meal for the children included here.
- It is not specified when students can receive a hot meal. Only after the publication of the regulation in the Official Gazette can the tender procedures begin.
- Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă advised the Ministry of Education to “choose the schools that really need this program”. Edupedu.ro has analyzed how many of the schools chosen in addition to the 150 of last year have GNP mayors: 63%.
One food pack contains:
- wholemeal flour bakery products – sliced bread or bars / sandwiches – 80 g – maximum 50% of the total weight of the package
- meat and / or cheese / dairy products 40 g – minimum 25% of the total weight of the package
- vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce or other similar products – 40 g – maximum 25% of the total weight of the package. To these will be added a fruit.
It should be noted that the budget allocated to the program has not changed, although the number of schools has increased, as has the rate for a daily menu for one student to 15 lei, from 10 lei (no. Ed. Rate established in 2018).
Therefore a menu should contain a soup, a rice with vegetables and a fruit salad, in the case of schools where there is a canteen or the local authority contracts the restaurant. Where this possibility does not exist, there is the possibility of sandwiches packaged according to standard rules.
“Food products are delivered daily by authorized / registered health and veterinary units and
for food safety and are kept until service, if the food is not served within 60 minutes of delivery, in pre-university education centers, in hygienic-sanitary and food safety conditions, in accordance with current legislation “, according to the Government decision.
The menu that children can have, recommendations approved by the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Public Health
- Chicken soup with vegetables
- Beef soup with vegetables
- Vegetables with grilled chicken breast
- Pea dish with chicken breast
- Pilaf with vegetables and chicken livers
- Carrot puree with grilled chicken
- Mashed potatoes with turkey breast
- Dish of sweet cabbage with roast in the oven
- Vegetable pots with chicken
- Rice with vegetables and chicken in a pan
- Broccoli souffle with cheese
- Potato gratin with grilled chicken breast
- Vegetable stew with brown rice
- Mashed potatoes with beets and vegetable meatballs
- Omelette with vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, green onions) and telemea cheese
- Cauliflower soufflé, broccoli and baked cheese
- Baked pumpkin stuffed with cheese
- Baked mushrooms stuffed with cheese (for ages 7 and up)
- Macaroni and cheese
- French fries (baked with cheese and eggs)
- Quinoa with vegetables
- Sandwich with butter, ham, cheese and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, salad)
- Grilled chicken breast sandwich or grilled boneless chicken leg sandwich with raw vegetables (donut, cabbage, carrot).
- Fruit salad (apple, pear, apricot, peach, banana, orange)
The methodological rules are identical to those of 2018, as well as the menus and food principles:
- In the case of hot dishes, prepared at the level of canteens within the premises of the educational units or at the level of the catering unit, no food additives, preservatives or any other type of flavor and aroma enhancer are added and which must be served to children preschoolers and students; moreover, the products of animal or non-animal origin from which these dishes are prepared must not contain additives or other substances accepted beyond the limits established by current legislation.
- The oil needed for the preparation is used only once, being a high quality oil.
- The onions prepared in the first phase of cooking are not fried but stewed in water.
- The iodized salt used must not contain anti-caking agents or any other additives.
- Avoiding the association of foods of the same group with the dishes served (for example, at breakfast tea will not be served with bread and jam, but with meat or dairy products; milk can be used instead with bread with jam or crackers; at lunch, the course 1 and course 2 will not be served mainly with carbohydrates – cereals, such as dumpling and steak soup with pasta garnish, but with vegetables);
- Avoid foods that require a strong digestive effort or that have an exciting effect or whose combination produces unfavorable digestive effects (such as bean stew with yogurt or compote);
- Foods such as fried ground beef will not be allowed. It is recommended to serve the eggs as an omelette in the oven and not as Romanian or fried eyes;
- It is advisable to enrich the ration with vitamins and minerals by using raw vegetable salads and adding leafy vegetables to soups and broths;
- Prohibition of the use of creams with eggs and whipped cream, mayonnaise, regardless of the season, as well as hard-boiled eggs (not dissected after boiling).
- The food delivered must be cooked on the morning of the day it is served, keeping it in sanitary-veterinary and food safety conditions, as well as in hygienic-sanitary conditions and at adequate temperatures, according to current legislation.
- The educational units where the program takes place are obliged to keep samples of the food served to children for 48 hours, in accordance with current legislation.
For particular groups of consumers – children with diabetes, lactose intolerance, gluten or other health problems – the diet prescribed by the specialist doctor will be provided. The type of dietetic food and the quantity required are indicated in the annex to the supply contract, specified for each school and for each student.
The maximum term for the consumption of the products transported by the supplier to the school units, respectively student or preschool, as the case may be, will be:
a) the day of production of the hot meal;
b) 24 hours from the packaging of the sandwiches.
For conservation in schools, spaces specially designed for the conservation of food products in the food safety conditions provided for by current legislation, provided by the beneficiary – didactic unit, will be used. The food products will be stored until service in the conditions indicated by the manufacturer, in compliance with the provisions of the law in force. The food products will be transported by the supplier to the school units, respectively student or preschool, as appropriate, only by special means, authorized / registered health-veterinary and food safety, in accordance with current legislation. “
Since hot meals can be served in schools in the 2022-2023 school year
Local authorities are in charge of contracting out those who offer hot meals, through the law on public procurement. Only after the publication of the regulation in the Official Gazette can the tender procedures begin. In the application regulation published today it is written that “bidders must introduce a breakdown of costs, per share, in the following categories:
to. raw material;
b. food preparation;
During the selection phase, those offers that allocate at least 40% of the amount available per beneficiary for the purchase of the raw material will be privileged and deemed to meet the criterion of the best quality-price ratio.
For this school year that has already begun, the program Hot meals in schools must apply in 350 educational units. Initially there were 300 schools, but the program has been expanded to include 50 schools. The names of the latter have not yet been made public. The minister announced that the National Colleges will no longer benefit from the program.
According to the supporting note, the reason for the expansion is justified by the same data from 7 years ago, not updated “the school dropout rate decreased from 6.1%, as in the 2016-2017 school year, to 1, 3% at the end of the 2017-2018 school year “.
The document also states that “every month, each school draws up a report on the progress of the program. The monitoring of the pilot program is carried out by each school inspectorate. At national level, the coordination of the pilot program is ensured by the Ministry of Education. On the basis of the centralized data of the final reports sent by the school inspectorates, the Ministry of Education prepares the final report which is published on its website “. The Ministry has not made public any reports on the effectiveness of the hot meal program in the selected schools.
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