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The Ministry of Education has denied claims by secretarty of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) Gary Aboud that mullet fish was being used by the School’s Nutrition Programme (SNP). In a statement the ministry said: “The National Schools Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL), the State-owned Enterprise responsible for the School Nutrition Programme, sources most of the fish used on the programme from the large local fish suppliers Dockside Seafoods (Trinidad) Ltd and Tri Fish Ice and Cold Storage Limited. “
Aboud said during a protest outside of the Environmental Management Authority’s office in St Clair last Thursday that mullet fish was identified as one of the breeds affected by the Petrotrin oilspill in La Brea.
“The SNP produces approximately 60,000 breakfast meals and 96,000 lunches on a daily basis for students in over 800 schools located throughout Trinidad. These suppliers are inspected on a regular basis to ensure that their products and operations meet the standards of the Public Health Authority, Ministry of Health and the internationally-benchmarked standards of the SNP,” it statement said.
The release said, through menu testing, the programme found that salmon fillets are best accepted by its clientele, and thus, it is the approved fish used by it. Bone-in fish, it added, was not used on the programme for safety reasons since its target population is among the most vulnerable of groups.
“Therefore recent statements or claims made by Mr Gary Aboud of Fishermen and Friends of the SEA (FFOS) about the use of Mullet fish on the programme are grossly inaccurate,” it said.