Fast food is off menus of 40 schools, colleges
The FDA had, under its Eat Right initiative, directed educational institutions in May to ban food with high
To ensure that students have easy access to nutritious food, the state government also restricted availability of HFSS food within 50 m of campuses.
SP Adhav, joint commissioner (food), FDA, said in the last three months, the quality and hygiene of food served at most schools and colleges in the city has been inspected.
“We simultaneously created awareness about the impact food has on students’ health, and explained the guidelines. Nearly 40 schools and colleges have so far submitted the revised canteen menus, which have been approved,” he said.
The Eat Right campaign is split into two parts-one looks at the content of food that is being served to students and the other includes cleanliness of utensils and the area where food is prepared.
Adhav said until the start of the initiative, a large number of students, principals and parents were not aware of the long-term effects of HFSS food.
He said the institutions have been instructed to form health committees, comprising their head, a faculty member, a nutritionist, parents and a student representative. Adhav said all city schools and colleges have formed these committees.
Educationist Shahid Sharif asked the health committees not to be “lethargic” in implementing the guidelines. “There were attempts to undertake initiatives in the past, but they only remained on paper. Schools will have to play a major role in ensuring all-round development of students,” he said.
The institutions will be certified for compliance with the guidelines by the FDA in November. If they fail to toe the line, they will be issued a show-cause letter and slapped with penalty, according to the guidelines. The norms, however, do not elaborate on the quantum of the fine.
A similar ban on junk food was rolled out in May 2017, but the authorities failed to put a monitoring system in place. The FDA will on August 21 conduct a seminar of the heads of all city schools and colleges and private canteen operators to create awareness about healthy eating habits.