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School Lunch in Suginami, Tokyo

This video, titled "School Lunch in Suginami - How the Delicious School Lunches Are Prepared" (杉並区の学校給食~おいしい給食ができるまで~), was created by Suginami's Official Channel (杉並区公式チャンネル).
The video introduces the cafeteria at a Japanese school, along with interviews with the cooks and fun quizzes.

School lunches are meals provided to students at lunchtime at schools.
School lunches in Japan serve many purposes, and, while they of course contribute to children's nutritional intake, health maintenance, and proper eating habits, they also promote knowledge of local ingredients, pass on food culture, and teach dietary education.

This video introduces the process of preparing safe, nutritious, well-balanced and delicious school lunches in Suginami, Tokyo.
The video takes us inside the school kitchen, which is usually only accessible by school lunch cooks.
You can see how school lunches are made, recipes, and more. Let's take a look!

A Look at How School Lunches Are Made

In this article, we'll go over how school lunches are prepared. Be sure to follow along with the video!

1. Menu Planning (video 0:39)
Together, the nutritionist from the Board of Education and the nutritionist of each school creates a monthly menu based on nutritional balance and season, and each school adjusts the menu according to its own standards.

2. Preparation & Hand Washing (1:10)
Cooks wear clean white coats and use a roller to remove dust and hair stuck to them.
After that, they carefully wash their hands.

3. Cleaning (2:01)
The cooks clean and sanitize the kitchen before cooking.
This is the end of preparation.

4. Inspecting Ingredients (The video 2:14~)
Ingredients for school lunches, such as vegetables, meat, fish, and other ingredients are delivered from neighboring vendors and received and inspected by staff wearing a special apron.
The ingredients are frozen and stored in 50-gram packages to help identify the cause of food poisoning in case of an outbreak.
The food is then changed from the delivery container into a clean container specially designed for the school kitchen.
From here, vegetables are trimmed of their stems and roots to prevent soil and dirt from entering the lunchroom.

5. Food Prep (3:25)
The cooks wash the vegetables under running water at least three times and measure and wrap seasonings. They also write the name of the menu item they will be used with on the package, so there are no mistakes.

When touching meat or fish, the cooks wear a special apron and always wear disposable gloves.
When breaking eggs, the cooks put them in a small container one at a time to make sure there are no shells or blood in them before moving them to a larger container.
You can see a quiz taking place at 4:25 in the video.
Check it out!

6. Cooking (The video 5:06)
In Suginami, even large quantities of vegetables are cut by hand one by one.
This process brings out the flavor of the vegetables.
Rice is also cooked at the school and served fresh.
One pot of rice can serve 80 people.

There's a second quiz at 5:52 and 7:28 in the video. The quiz is about the equipment that is essential for making fried bread or a large amount of curry.
Hamburgers and fish are cooked one at a time, using a steam convection oven that allows for a variety of cooking methods, including steaming and baking, as well as grilling.

7. Allergy Check (8:39)
Children with allergy are provided an allergy-free meal.
They check very carefully and make sure that there will be no mistake.

8. Taste-testing (9:11)
30 minutes before serving school lunch, the principle of the school checks the taste, quantity, if it's cooked adequately and checks for foreign objects.

9.Distribution (9:46)
The food is weighed according to the number of people in the class and distributed.

10. Lunchtime (10:14)
The students come and pick up their meals from the cart and lunchtime begins.
You can see the completed lunch in the video around 10:29.

11. Clean up (10:55)
After lunch, the dishes are washed in the dishwasher and then placed in a hot-air sterilized storage unit.

Summary of Japan's School Lunches

In this video, we introduced how school lunches are prepared in Suginami, Tokyo.
You can see interviews with one of the school cooks at 11:20 in the video, and hear what their job means to them.

What was your favorite thing on the school lunch menu? Pizza? Rice? Noodles?
If you still haven't yet, be sure to check out the video to learn all about Japan's school lunches!

【Official Website】School Lunch Suginami Official Website
https://www.city.suginami.tokyo.jp/kyouiku/gakko/1007751.html

Written By
Oct. 4, 2020
Japan
ひろ(HIRO)
I'm a writer who likes to eat good food wherever I go
Not Many People Know How Japan’s School Lunches Are Prepared. Today We’re Revealing the Mystery! The Creativity of School Cooks Makes School Lunches Healthy and Delicious! Lunchtime at a Japanese School!
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