A review into school meals will be completed by January 2024.

That is according to education minister Julie Edge, who said this after being questioned on the matter by Garff MHK Daphne Caine.

It comes after it was revealed that between 15% and 29% of school meals are ultra-processed.

While the department of education, sports and culture is responsible for school meals in primary schools, it is secondary schools that are responsible for the food provided in their institutions.

Ms Edge told Tynwald: ‘Primary schools follow the UK government school food standards which provide guidance and recommendations on portion size, cooking techniques, limits on food items from each category, so for example, how much dairy protein and carbohydrates should be served and how often.

‘Where possible, fresh local produce is used in recipes, with a small amount of pre made frozen items that are school meal compliant.

‘For example, items which are low in salt, sugar and fat that have child friendly portion sizes.

‘There is no mechanically reformed meat used and there are no deep fried items.’

Yet she said that she felt that it was time for a review to take place into school meals for both primary and secondary schools across the island.

She said that efficiencies, effectiveness and quality control will be key within the review ‘to make sure that there is consistent delivery for students no matter where they are in the island’.

She did say that the use of ultra-processed foods is a national issue, citing a study that found that the UK was the worst in Europe, with 50% of the UK’s shopping baskets generally consisting of ultra-processed foods.