17 January 2014 18:14

Chow time in the army is set for a whole new makeover following a successful pilot scheme ordered by Defence Minister Fotis Fotiou.

The new scheme, in which outside catering is set to replace in-house cooking, will aim to do away with concerns over the quality and health standards of food in the army.
Food in the National Guard mess hall currently sees conscripts head with either trays or plastic plates to collect food from a table being manned by a chef, which is usually a fellow conscript. The rules are different for boot camps where new recruits are served directly with trays of food - usually cooked by trained chefs - where they are seated.
But Fotiou's new grand design will see outside catering slowly adopted throughout all camps on the island in a bid to restore faith in food quality and hygiene.
The National Guard has for years received complaints of poor quality when it comes to feeding young soldiers, something that has prompted conscripts to order fast food delivery services - which is deemed as a violation in the army - or have their parents smuggle them in food.
"From the start, we had set as one of our main priorities to improve the quality of feeding conscripts because we feel it is a very important area," Fotiou told new recruits at the Paphos boot camp where the pilot scheme is taking place.
"Today our goal of improving the quality and quantity of food has been made a reality. This new step is in place to ensure that there is no problem with the diet in the National Guard," said Fotiou.
"Everybody needs to be congratulated. I have spoken to some of the new recruits and they are very satisfied with this pilot scheme so far. This scheme is part of the sweeping measures set by the Ministry to upgrade the army," he added.
The minister sat down with new recruits in the mess hall and ate alongside the young conscripts describing the pilot scheme as a "success" and saying the feedback has been a positive one.
"The quantity is important because the conscripts must feel that they are being served correct portions. But the method of catering is also important because it ensures better hygiene which is equally important."


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