Local Goa News

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

No cause for worry as students served safe pão for mid-day meals

PANAJI: The department of education on Tuesday stated that the self-help groups involved in the implementation of the Mid-Day Meal scheme in Goan schools are supplying pão, the locally manufactured traditional bread to the students, and, therefore, there should be no concern in the minds of the parents.
It may be recalled that India’s food regulator had announced banning use of potassium bromate in various brands of packaged bread, with the local Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) ordering its food inspectors to collect bread samples from bakers and bread manufacturing companies across the state.
“The chemicals used in such breads damage human health and could also lead to cancer,” a study undertaken by the Centre for Science and Environment had stated.
Director of education G P Bhat said that mid-day meals are being supplied to most of the schools in Goa from day one since the schools reopened on June 6. “We provide bread and bhaji to the students under the scheme,” he added, pointing out that some of the schools are supplied with puri and bhaji.
Speaking further, the director of education said that the self-help groups have been directed to provide hot, cooked food to the students. “In fact, the central government has a scheme, which assists the schools in opening a centralised kitchen for serving hot, cooked food; however, the self-help groups have expressed their inability to come to these centralised kitchens and cook food as in such case, they would have to spend much more amount on the hired workforce,” he said, stating that, therefore, the department of education will provide special insulated containers purchased from the central funds so that the food prepared at the premises of the self-help groups could be brought to the schools in hot and fresh condition.
The director of education also expressed concern that the central funds are yet to arrive.
Meanwhile, the department of education has issued a circular to the schools stating that “Complaints about food poisoning have increased during the months of July to September, which might be attributed to the contamination of food grains, other raw materials or due to failure in conducting a thorough sanitisation of kitchen premises and utensils. The contractors awarded to supply mid-day meals to the children should be more careful while maintaining the cleanliness of the cooking place and hygienic condition of the cooked food that would be served to the children, who are very sensitive to the unhygienic food, and show reaction immediately after consumption.”
“Hot food should be served containing appropriate weight and nutritional value as prescribed,” it adds, warning that in case of failure, the department of education will not spare to initiate an action deemed fit as entered in agreement, while awarding the contract.

NT Network Goa News

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