Read full article by Ashwani Mondala@ FNBNews Photo Credit: ICRISAT
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued the final Gazette Notification prescribing healthy diets for school children. Called Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and Balanced Diets for Children in School) Regulations, 2020, the regulations will come into force from July 1, 2021.
These regulations were result of the direction of the Delhi High Court wherein it has asked the apex food regulator to review the subject and an Expert Group and later on a HFSS Expert Committee was constituted to give recommendations regarding the food products which are high in saturated fat or trans fats or added sugar or sodium.
Meanwhile, in regulations related to Safe Food and Healthy Diets for School Children, FSSAI has fixed the responsibility of the school authorities to ensure safe food and balanced diets on school premises which earlier was missing in the schools and left only to the canteen contractor or caterer or the in charge of the canteen.
The regulations now lay greater emphasis and responsibility on all those connected with school running to ensure safe food to the children for the reasons of obesity and health issues among them. Now the School Canteen Contractor /FBO / Caterer needs to have either licence or registration from the food authority, according to D V Malhan, president, the Society of Bakers.
Further, the school authority shall have to ensure that there shall not be any advertisement/or banner or wallpaper of food which depicts high in saturated fat or trans fats or added sugar or sodium for sale. “The emphasis is on the promotion of safe food and balanced diet in and around school campuses,” he added.
The regulation also has a Schedule attached that lays down detailed guidelines regarding: (A) which are safe food and balanced diet for children and (B) also about the selection of foods by the schools for safe food & balanced diet.
General guidance for selection of foods by the schools
Always a part of the menu – 75-80% of the foods should belong from this category: Cereals, millets and pulses – Such as whole wheat grain (atta), rice, millets (ragi, bajra, etc.), legumes (all dal and beans)