The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development issued food safety and hygiene guidelines to prevent contamination of supplementary nutrition provided to pregnant women and children under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
Operational Guidelines for Food Safety and Hygiene in ICDS
- While cooking and serving food, the anganwadi workers and helpers are not allowed to wear wrist watches, rings, bangles, nail polish, artificial nails, etc, because these can carry foreign bodies and compromise hygiene. The fingernails must be trimmed and cleaned.
- Hair should be neatly tied up and covered and glass in any form is not allowed in the cooking areas.
- An adequate precaution for cleanliness issued for the staffs to prevent the food from getting contaminated during cleaning of rooms, utensils or any other equipment.
- It has mentioned that before using any equipment, while cooking food should be washed with water.
- To make safe disposal of stool and wastes, the toilets must be clean all the time.
- The activity rooms should be well ventilated, spacious enough and should be cleaned every day before the start of the functions in the morning.
- Adequate space should be provided for the kitchen, it should be separate from activity/classrooms, preferably located at a safe, but accessible distance.
About Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme
- The Government of India sponsored programme.
- Launched: October 2,1975.
- Aim: to improve the nutritional and health status of vulnerable groups including pre-school children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Scheme: to tackle malnutrition and health problems in children below 6 years of age and their mothers.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal department for UNICEF, which has provided essentials supplies to the ICDS Scheme since 1975.