Information for canteens regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
SASCN would like to acknowledge WASCA for support and guidance in preparing this document.
Please seek advice from your principal/leadership and/or employer (e.g.Governing council) at all times. These are the people that have the correct, up to date information from the appropriate Departments.
Schools have been advised to cancel all non-essential meetings and gatherings on school grounds e.g. assemblies, sports carnival etc. Where possible, canteens should continue to trade and follow advice from their principal. Every site will be different so please comply with your site’s recommendations and not rely on what is happening in other Canteens.
Health and safety is paramount.
· Ensure appropriate food safety and hygiene procedures are being followed in the canteen (as I’m sure they always are). If you, or staff are unwell do not go to work.
· Communicate with the school community through your regular channels about the canteen e.g. business as usual; increased cleaning and sanitising processes in place; any changes to the menu or ordering process.
· If you are having trouble providing the normal menu:
o Consider reducing the menu to whatever items you have on hand. At this stage in the term, a lot of Canteens would already be running stock down as we head towards the holidays. Parents and students will be very understanding.
o Communicate with students and parents about menu changes
o Check if suppliers are expecting any supply issues and make adjustments if necessary.
· Review stock on-hand, consider what could be run down; use by dates; what could be made in bulk and frozen
If there is an emergency closure because of a confirmed case, the Department for Education and your school will have a strategy in place for this scenario. If you are unsure of your role in this situation, speak to your Principal/Leadership/Line manager for direction.
If the Canteen or school closes for other reasons, you may still have access to your Canteen. You may still be able to be engaged in paid work to stock take and clean on site, menu plan or complete online training at home etc. If the Canteen is closed but the school remains open, can you be used elsewhere? Library, admin, grounds etc.
Talk to your employer: Review your contract and consider accrued leave if applicable. You may have to tap in to your annual or long service leave. Is there a provision for professional development and training?
In addition, consider the following:
Based on advice from your principal:
· Notify other canteen staff if necessary.
· Work with the school to inform students, parents and staff about menu/ordering changes when the canteen reopens
· Notify suppliers to ensure standing orders are cancelled or postponed
· Review expected canteen deliveries.
· Carry out a stock take before the closure; taking photos can assist
· Consolidate stock e.g. if you have multiple fridges/freezers, move stock into one fridge/freezer; and switch off others/defrost freezer
· Perishable items:
o Distribute to staff, volunteers, families as appropriate
o Store properly to extend use e.g. freeze bread; decant flavoured milk into ice cube trays; cut up fresh fruit and freeze.
Make the most of time away from the canteen and complete online training:
· FOCIS School Canteen Online Training: a comprehensive online training course that is nationally appropriate and aims to increase the capacity and skills of people involved in operating school canteens across Australia. Subsidies still available from SASCN.
· All about allergens: a free online course for everyone working in food service, from Canteen managers to volunteers.
· Ensure you are up to date and complying with the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink policy
o FoodSafe Food Handler training: often available free of charge through your local council website; or Environmental Health Australia (fee applies).
Canteens are very busy businesses which means sometimes record keeping is not always a priority. Now could be the time to:
· Update recipe costing sheets
· Review the pricing formula
· Update or develop volunteer orientation information
· Develop templates such as temperature control record, daily tally sheets, stock take etc.
Menu and recipe revision
Many schools introduce a new “Winter” menu for Term 2. Start planning, for example:
· Create a new layout, design, add pictures.
· Contact suppliers and compare prices, delivery fees/days etc.
· Research new recipe ideas e.g.
o LiveLighter have quick seasonal recipes (good for home and school)
o Healthy Eating Advisory Service lots of tasty ideas for canteens
o Use the SASCN Facebook page to ask other canteens what they are planning for winter and to stay in contact.
o Canteen associations from other states can be useful resources too.
· Recipe testing at home, based on available ingredients
o If meat is in short supply, bulk up recipes with lentils, grated vegetables
o Use one dish in multiple ways e.g. savoury mince/savoury lentils could be made into tacos, cottage pie, spaghetti bolognaise
Remember, if the school and canteen closes, this will be temporary. Consider long term planning and keep in contact with SASCN and other Canteen managers for support.
The following websites are recommended by the SA Government for general information on the Coronavirus.
"All about Allergens" online training has been developed to help everyone working in food service. The training will help you to be aware of the risks food allergies pose, help you identify and manage food allergens and provide help on how to respond to enquiries from customers with food allergies.
Visit www.foodallergytraining.org.au for access to free online training.
Many local Councils also offer a basic online Food Safety course - check your Council's website for further information.