Most college, school canteens in Andhra Pradesh do not have FSSAI license

They did not have any valid food license and thus, were found to have compromised on the safety of food
Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

When the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected the canteens at some colleges in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, it was found that many of them operated without necessary licenses from the authority. As a result, students' health is at risk.

FSSAI revealed that a majority of the canteens and food joints inside colleges, schools, intermediate college hostels and workplaces were running without the authority's approval. They did not have any valid food license and thus, were found to have compromised on the safety and quality of food, as mentioned in a report by The New Indian Express.

License is a must
According to the FSSAI, all schools, colleges and residential hostels must register for an FSSAI license in order to launch their business as they offer food prepared in their vicinity. However, there is no need for an FSSAI license for the sale of packaged items, bakery items and confectionery.

"It is common to see many youngsters consuming lunch in their school or college canteens. For residential hostels, everything the students eat comes only from the canteens. Therefore, maintaining hygiene and giving them nutritious nourishment is crucial and any negligence in canteens will result in health issues for students and teachers," a senior official said.

The FSSAI regulates the storage, import, distribution and preparation of safe and hygienic food for human consumption, the official explained. "In order to guarantee that there is a supply of healthy, safe food for human consumption, the canteen must possess a license so that officials concerned will inspect regularly and monitor their activities," he added.

Why are they operating without a license?
Asked why most of the canteens had not opted for a license, the official said, "With most of them operating inside the campuses, the canteen organisers are in the belief that they would not be under FSSAI. Anything related to the food business, be it selling packed food items or prepared food, FSSAI license is mandatory."

"It is also noticed that canteen organisers are selling food items at higher prices with no supervision. A thorough inspection will be carried out soon to put an end to the illegal practices in educational institutions. So far, notices to more than 15 colleges were served in this regard," the FSSAI officials said, as per TNIE.

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