Ham and cheese sandwiches banned at WA school canteens


The humble ham and cheese toastie has been banned in Western Australian school canteens, under a new healthy eating policy overhaul.

Under new recommendations, ham is now reclassified as “red” in its traffic light system, which directs schools on what they can sell to students.

Canteen food choices have been categorised since 2007 as green for nutritious, amber for occasional, or red for junk — such as chips and lollies — which are banned from sale.

Ham and cheese sandwiches banned at WA schools (Nine)

The changes have also seen other popular items such as sausage rolls reclassified as “red”.

Premier Roger Cook backed the changes yesterday.

“It’s not to say you can’t have a ham and cheese toastie, it’s just to say it’s a treat,” he said.

However, the changes have gone “too far”, according to a leading dietitian.

“We don’t need to demonise individual foods,” Paediatric dietitian Dr Kyla Smith said.

“We’re not serving ham on its own. We’re serving ham alongside other foods like cheese, (on) wholemeal bread.

“I don’t envy canteen managers at the moment, I think that would be a really hard gig to find that balance.”

Since 2007 – canteen foods have been classified into three categories. (Nine)

WA School Canteen Association chief executive Megan Sauzier said she understood the changes but warned it could deter students from purchasing from canteens.

“To group ham and cheese toasted sandwiches in that group is not what we would recommend,” she said.

“There is a lot of confusion there.”

The new food policy has already come into effect – with schools already taking the popular item off their menu.

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