Recognized NABL labs to test mid day meals
Recognized laboratories under the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL) will collect the samples to test the microbiological presence/absence of e-coli, chemical parameters such as moisture content, fats, proteins and calorific value of the mid day meals. The measure has come after the death of 23 children in a school in Chhapra in Bihar who died after consuming contaminated food served in the mid-day meal scheme.
How the mid day meals will be monitored?
- Periodic reports and monitoring at the local level through the school monitoring committees as well as by the State government officials.
- An independent monitoring through 41 monitoring institutes such as IIT Chennai, Visva Bharati, and the XLRI has also been ensured by the Centre.
- The Joint Review Missions (JRM) visit States at regular intervals. Presently 7 JRMs have been conducted, and 13 more are planned.
- Surprise visits will be made from time to time.
What are the steps taken by the government to improve the quality of mid day meal?
HRD and Tourism Ministries are working together on imparting training for cooks through Hotel Management Institutes and the Food Craft Institutes. A 10-day full time course will be organized which will impart knowledge in terms of the caloric and nutritive values. The course will emphasize on the methods of cooking for retaining the nutritive value of cooking ingredients, issues of malnutrition and nutrition levels and the importance of regular washing of hands.