Published: 22nd June 2022
Kerala enters phase two of food safety drive in schools and colleges
The drive came into force after recent incidents of food poisoning across the state. The inspection is set to begin in a week's time
Food Safety officials in Kerala's Kozhikode district will kickstart an inspection drive to ensure that affiliated educational institutions meet the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and possess the relevant license. The action is being taken after the state government issued a circular to Kerala's schools and colleges in this regard after it was discovered that a majority of these institutions were running the show without an FSSAI license, according to a report by The New Indian Express.
The inspection is set to begin in a week's time and will be the second phase of the initiative of the state government to ensure the quality of food served in educational institutions. Phase one of this project included inspections conducted by teams of officials from the departments of General Education, Health, Food and Safety and Civil Supplies after recent cases of food poisoning were reported from across the state.
"In our state, most of the schools and colleges have their canteens, and many students are broadly dependent on these canteens to have food, especially at a time when the Mid-Day Meal scheme is active here," said an official from the food safety department to TNIE. This means that obtaining food safety licenses is mandatory for school and college canteens in order to meet legal requirements. This FSSAI License is the authenticity proof over the product sold. They are also required to follow all standards of quality of the food they provide. They must also fulfil all requirements of hygienic and sanitary practices, added the official. "In addition to this, as per the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, schools and colleges must promote safe and healthy food diets amongst school and college students," the official further said.
Apart from these, the canteens are also to be converted into 'Eat Right Schools' where the primary aim is to provide safe, nutritious and hygienic food while reducing food waste in accordance with the specified benchmarks.