The school environment has a significant impact on the development of eating habits. Just about everyone can remember purchasing an ice-cream, meat pie or sausage roll back in their day as a special occasion. But these days, that special occasion has grown into multiple times a week, or for some children every day.
Public school canteens in NSW are required to meet the Fresh Tastes @ School Guidelines outlined by NSW Health.
Canteens are a unique food business. Under ownership of the school, the ultimate responsibility for what is sold and how it runs lies with the Principal. Depending on the level of school community engagement, the canteen could be operated under the direct management of any of the following:
- The Principal
- The P&C
- The School Council
- Leasee (private operator)
It is the role of the chosen management body to ensure the policies and procedures (such as Fresh Tastes @ School) relevant to running the canteen are developed, implemented and reviewed. The canteen manager acts as an employee (paid or unpaid) who is managed by the management body.
Since 2010, all canteens in NSW are recognised as food businesses and must be registered with the NSW Food Authority.
Food sold from public school canteens in NSW must meet the Fresh Tastes @ School Policy and school communities must follow the Nutrition in Schools Policy which supports Fresh Tastes.