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Education ministry denies serving insect-infested school breakfast

A video of a sandwich infested with insects circulated on social media.



The education ministry has denied reports that a spoiled breakfast was served to students at the Faresmaathoda school in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll.

A video of a sandwich infested with insects circulating on social media was taken two hours after breakfast was served at the island school, the education ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Citing the findings of an inquiry launched after complaints were lodged, the ministry said the food was inspected by a school committee for compliance with health and safety standards after it was supplied by the island’s contractor at 6:35am on Monday. 

Breakfast was served to students at 7:25am and the contractor cleaned up and left at 7:45am.

“School staff have said that the circulating video was taken of their breakfast after the students breakfast had finished. Both the staff and the contractor noted that the said video was taken two hours after student’s breakfast time and after the food had been cleared from the school,” the ministry said.

“The ministry has always ensured that the breakfast given to students are hygienic and healthy. Committees set up in schools and at the ministry have been monitoring the quality of breakfast and solving any issues on a daily basis.”

This ministry said it was “extremely disappointed” that unverified information was reported in the media and urged outlets to refrain from “acting in ways that erode parent’s trust in something done for such a good cause.”

After a pilot phase earlier this year, the school breakfast programme was rolled out nationwide in June. Providing every pupil with a nutritious breakfast was a campaign pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and a target of his administration’s 100-day action plan.