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Poor response to Eat Right Campus initiative in Kerala

It aims at ensuring safe, healthy and sustainable food on campus and at reducing food-borne illnesses, deficiency diseases and non-communicable diseases

January 24, 2023 07:23 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:15 am IST - KOCHI

The Eat Right Campus initiative by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is yet to gather steam in Kerala.

Only 50 educational institutions have received the certification, which is valid for two years. The Eat Right Campus initiative aims at ensuring safe, healthy and sustainable food on the campus and at reducing the incidence of food-borne illnesses, deficiency diseases and non-communicable diseases among the people on the campus.

According to the Department of Food Safety, educational institutions seem reluctant to undergo the rating process despite the government offering an incentive of ₹25,000 each to the institutions towards the expenses for audit by an agency empanelled by the FSSAI. With complaints of food poisoning on the rise from campus hostels and similar facilities, the department is planning to bring in more institutions under the rating system, it said.

Parameters

The institutions will be evaluated and certified as ‘Eat Right Campus’ based on the parameters, including food safety measures, steps to ensure provision of healthy and environmentally sustainable food, and building awareness among the individuals on the campus to make the right food choices.

A detailed checklist has been created, explaining the best practices to be followed by the campus that include mandatory steps such as licensing and registration of food service providers on the campus and compliance with food safety and hygiene standards as per Schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006.

Food handlers are given training through FSSAI’s Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) programme. The campus undergoes a third-party audit by the same FSSAI-empanelled agency and is given a rating on a five-star scale after carrying out improvements, if required. Institutions scoring three or more stars are given certificates.

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