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LCQ11: Tuckshops in local primary and secondary schools

    Following is a question by the Hon Joseph Lee Kok-long and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (December 14):


     Tuckshops in local primary and secondary schools provide snacks and cooked foods to students. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of primary and secondary schools with tuckshops, and the number of such tuckshops which offer cooked foods, including boxed lunches, sandwiches and noodles;

(b) whether such tuckshops are required to hold a licence; if so, of the type of licence required, and how the authorities regulate the tuckshops holding that type of licence; if not, the reasons for that, and how the authorities ensure that such tuckshops provide quality and safe foods; and

(c) whether it has imposed restrictions on the types of foods sold at such tuckshops, with a view to cultivating balanced and healthy eating habits among students; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether there are any plans and measures to cultivate such habits among students?


Madam President,

(a) The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) does not possess detailed statistics on school tuckshops.  According to a sample survey conducted recently, more than 90% of the secondary and primary schools in Hong Kong have a tuckshop.  Of these, around 90% of the secondary and 40% of the primary schools have lunch boxes, sandwiches or noodles on sale.

(b) The Food Business Regulation is not applicable to school tuckshops.  Hence schools are not required to apply for a licence for their tuckshop under the Regulation, but they should observe EMB's related guidelines.  Furthermore, for sale of restricted food items under the Food Business Regulation such as milk and frozen confections, permits from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department should be obtained.  To ensure that the restricted food items are sold in compliance with the Regulation, health inspectors will carry out regular inspections.

(c) To cultivate good eating habits among students, EMB has issued guidelines on meal arrangements in schools, which include guidelines on items for sale at tuckshops.  Schools are advised to be mindful of the nutritional value of items to be sold.  Selling of "junk food" which is of little nutritional value should be reduced, and more healthy snacks should be sold such as fresh or dried fruit, soya milk, breakfast cereals and high fibre biscuits, etc.  The guidelines have been uploaded onto EMB's homepage for schools' reference :

Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Issued at HKT 14:31


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