The British government announced plans to ban school cafeterias from serving cheap hamburgers and hot dogs, and to outlaw vending machines selling soft drinks, chocolate and potato chips to pupils.
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly told the annual conference of the governing Labour Party yesterday that 'the scandal of junk food served every day in school canteens must end'.
She said the ban on junk-food vending machines and "cheap processed bangers and burgers" would come into effect next September.
The move will require new legislation that is likely to limit the amount of sugar, fat and salt in school meals.
Current rules stipulate only that school meals must contain 'vegetable' and 'protein' portions.
The poor quality of much school food made headlines in Britain thanks to 'Jamie's School Dinners', a series featuring 'Naked Chef' Jamie Oliver. Oliver visited school kitchens and found they were dishing out cheap processed meat, usually with piles of fatty French fried potatoes-- at a cost of 65 US cents, 54 per child per meal.
Oliver launched a campaign-- backed by a 270,000-signature petition-- for school meals cooked with fresh ingredients.
After the series was broadcast, Kelly promised to spend $500 million improving the quality of school food.