Junk food banned in schools

With the aim to ensure safe and wholesome food for school children, Arun Singhal, CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s top food regulator, has restricted the sale of junk and unhealthy food in canteens of schools and other educational institutions.

The food regulator has also prohibited the sale and advertisement of unhealthy food within 50 metres of the school premises. This regulation aims to provide a safe, nutritious and healthy diet for school children.

“The idea is to provide safe food and balanced diet for children in schools. Foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to schoolchildren . This sale is prohibited in school canteens, mess premises or hostel kitchens or within 50 metres of the school campus.

Eat Right Schools

In 2015, the Delhi High Court ordered FSSAI to regulate junk food being sold in school canteens. Experts committee at top food regulating agency relooked and framed newer guidelines for children in school getting healthy meals. “Canteen, mess, kitchen operating in school should have a licence from FSSAI. FBOs contracted by the department of education for the Mid-Day Meal scheme must obtain a registration or licence. It must be from the apex food regulating agency . It must comply with the requirements of hygienic practices as specified under schedule 4 of the FSS Act.”

Regular inspection by municipal authorities and state administration will be done at the school premises . It would be to ensure that safe, healthy and hygienic food is served to students, said the official. Schools administrations have to adopt a comprehensive programme for promoting safe food . And healthy diets among school children and to convert school campus into Eat Right School . Schools must focus on safe and healthy food, local and seasonal food without food waste as per the specified guidelines.

This has to be monitored by a nodal officer nominated by each school,” added the official. “School authorities have to promote the consumption of a safe and balanced diet in the school . A guidelines has been issued by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN),”in this regards. The schools have to implement these regulations soon after the date of notification.