The Department of Health funds the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme as part of the ‘5 a day’ programme to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
Under the scheme, all four to six year old children in Local Education Authority maintained infant, primary and special schools in England are entitled to a free piece of fruit or vegetable portion each school day. Around 440 million pieces of fruit or portions of vegetables are given to over 2 million children in some 16,000 schools across England each year. The scheme supplies apples, pears, bananas, grapes, soft citrus (such as clementines and satsumas) carrots, tomatoes, mini cucumbers, sweet peppers, raisins, sugarsnap peas and strawberries.
The Department of Health commission their own schedule of testing. Those results are reviewed by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) before being published here. Suppliers to the scheme are also required to get their produce tested for pesticide residues regularly and to send these results to the Department of Health.