Action urged over nitrates in school food

School food
The Welsh government has given a commitment to look again at the quality of school dinners as concerns rise that cancer-causing chemicals are on the menu.

Conservative and Labour MPs are calling for a ban on meat containing nitrites being served to pupils. Nitrites, which are often found in processed meats such as cooked ham, bacon, hot dogs, gammon and corned beef, produce nitrosamines – chemicals which can cause certain cancers.

Despite this, only two Welsh councils, Powys and Ceredigion, have eliminated nitrites from their school menus.

The Welsh government says that it follows the guidance given by the Food Standards Agency and its advice is that the levels of nitrites are safe.

However, it has agreed to review the nutritional standards of food in schools. Traditionally, the chemicals were added to protect against the life-threatening condition botulism.

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