Panaji, Jul 22: Goa government has decided to review the mid day meal scheme with an option of suspending it for a couple of months till water-tight norms are not in place to arrest the instances of food poisoning. The scheme would be reviewed considering the hygiene of the kitchens where self help groups (SHGs) cook the meal, state education director Anil Powar told PTI. There are 80-odd SHGs supplying food for various schools across the state.
An entire review of the scheme is being undertaken and if kitchens are found unhygienic, the state government might even shut the scheme temporarily for a couple of months, Powar said.
The state education department has directed its district level officers to inspect kitchens on regular basis. State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department has also been asked to conduct regular checks of the places where the food is prepared.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who announced to revamp the entire scheme by Diwali this year, has already called for a meeting of SHGs on July 24 at the directorate of education in Porvorim.
The decision on the scheme would be taken only after getting feedback from various agencies, Powar said. The FDA, on the other hand, has decided to conduct workshop for the representatives of SHGs on “good food handling practices.”
FDA department director Salim Velji today said a workshop in this connection would be held in the first week of August. The SHG representatives would be taught how to maintain kitchen hygiene and also about good food handling practices, he said.
Nearly 80 students from a school in Canacona taluka (80 kms from Panaji) had fallen ill earlier this month after consuming the midday meal, while last week, 22 students of a school in Usgao (40 kms from Panaji) had taken ill after eating food served under the scheme.