Shocked by the Bihar mid-day meal tragedy, the centre has for the first time come out with guidelines to be followed by all schools in the country with special emphasis on hiring qualified hands in the kitchen and strict monitoring.
It prescribed code of hygiene and safe practices to be followed during procurement, preparation and serving of meals.
These were part of ‘guidelines for making available quality and safe food in schools’ submitted on Monday by the health ministry to the Delhi High Court which is hearing a PIL for banning the sale of junk food in schools.
It said food ingredients should be purchased from Food Safety Standards Authority of India-licensed food merchants and no food having traces of pesticide residue or parasites should be purchased.
Schools should have at least one full time in-charge certified in food safety who has undergone food safety education training.