The canned fish is a common food item taken at all of the country’s schools which offer the pilchards to more than 9.2 million learners every school day, education officials said.
The temporary suspension of this fish protein from the National School Nutrition Menu was triggered by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications who ordered retailers to stop selling the 400g cans of pilchards in tomato and chili sauce with immediate effect due to “deficiencies in the canning process.”
Meanwhile, the government, through the Ministry of Basic Education, has reassured parents, pupils and members of the public that it was “doing everything it can to ensure that no learner is compromised” over the condemned food.
The pilchards are also widely consumed in neighbouring states, especially in South African-owned retail chains set up there.
The government did not indicate when the suspension would last.