- In a first-of-its-kind initiative, four police stations in the national capital’s New Delhi district have been designated as ‘Eat Right Campus’ by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for providing nutritious and wholesome meals daily to police personnel at their canteens and mess.
- The scheme is already in place since 2017 in several government institutions including colleges and hostels.
What is the initiative?
- Eat Right India is a flagship mission of FSSAI, a statutory body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
- The mission aims at ensuring that citizens of the country are provided nutritious meals which help in reducing the burden of various lifestyle-related diseases.
- Delhi government’s Department of Food Safety, which is the implementing body of the initiative in the capital, has launched a programme called ‘Sehatmand Delhi’ under which places that can be designated as ‘Eat Right Campus’ are identified.
- The initiative works on three principles, i.e., to ensure that the food being served to officers, jawans, visitors and staff is safe to consume and in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006.
- Secondly, it aims at promoting balanced meals and eliminating trans-fats or “bad fat” found in industrial food products, which has a negative health impact. In addition, it also ensures reduction in consumption of salt and sugar that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The programme also aims at promoting local and seasonal vegetables and reducing the use of chemicals.
How does one get the ‘eat right’ tag?
- In order to receive the ‘Eat Right Campus’ certificate, the programme mandates a preliminary audit of the campus and identifying any gaps in cooking and hygiene. Subsequently, a final audit by a third party is conducted before a certificate, which has a validity of two years, is handed out. Regular inspections will be carried out by the Food Safety Department or audit agencies in the two years to keep a check on the food quality, until the certification is renewed.
Why does it matter?
- The primary reason behind taking up the initiative was the welfare of all police personnel. Police personnel face difficult tasks during their duties and we have seen that they often fall sick after consuming unhygienic food from outside or from the police station’s mess. Kitchens inside police stations are usually ignored and hence it affects the cooking.
- Many police personnel ate from roadside eateries near the police station but after a new kitchen was constructed under the programme, things have changed. Specific diet charts have been chalked out to ensure that all police staff and visitors are provided wholesome meals. They are budget-friendly too.