A teacher will eat the food that is served to children, says official

With the recent spate of incidents in which school children fell pray to substandard mid-day meal being served to them, the government has now directed the officials to inspect the food daily.

The monitory committees that were set up earlier in 2011 will now check the quality of food daily and submit a report to the Director of School Education once in 15 days, A. Subba Reddy, Hyderabad District Education Officer said. Instructions to this effect will be issued soon and District Collectors and Education officers will be made responsible for the safety of food, he said.

“The monitoring committees will be headed by an MP and will have to meet once every month to check the progress. Also a teacher will eat the food that is being served to the children and ensure that the drinking water being provided is safe for consumption,” Mr. Reddy said. The school staff will also be instructed to ensure that children wash their hands both before and after eating the food. Teachers who conduct daily checks will have to fill a prescribed form in a given format and submit the same to the committee, which in turn, forwards the same along with a report once every fortnight. The committee will also check the quality of the ingredients being used on the mid-day meal scheme, Mr. Reddy added. According to guidelines issued by Central Ministry of Human Resource Development recently, State governments have to set up management structures at various levels to ensure proper disbursal of mid-day meals to school children. The governments should also ensure that ingredients are properly stored in the kitchen-cum-stores built with central assistance and only branded and quality ingredients should be used.