MCD schools midday meal scheme fails nutrition test

Mere seven out of 80 samples meet set parameters
Last Updated 18 March 2013, 18:40 IST

In a reflection of the kind of food being served under the mid-day meal scheme, it has been revealed that food served in North Delhi Municipal Corporation schools is low on nutrition and calorific value.

According to the corporation officials, over 90 percent of samples lifted for testing from the kitchens of NGOs which prepare food in the primary schools have failed to meet the minimum standards of protein and overall calorific value. 

“Only seven of the 80 samples taken for test cleared the parameters. However, no action was taken by the authorities concerned,” said Mahendra Nagpal, leader of House in North Corporation. He raised the issue in the House meeting of the corporation on Monday. The samples were lifted for test between April 23, 2012 to October 31, 2012.

The sample testing is done by Shriram Institute for Industrial Research – the government approved institute for testing the food samples.

As per the norms, the food served to students must have a minimum of 12 gram of protein and minimum calorific value of 450 gm.  In most of the cases, the test report observed, “The sample does not meet the requirements laid for mid-day meal with respect to protein and calorific value.”

However, the corporation officials played down the report stating that none of the test results showed that the food was adulterated.  “The food being served has been found to be on the lower side of required protein content and calories. However, none of the samples was found to be adulterated. As far as the nutritional value of the meal is concerned, it is an issue prevalent all over. We are working towards addressing the issue,” said P K Gupta, north corporation commissioner.

Rajma (beans)–rice, chhole (gram)–rice and dal (pulse)-rice are popular meals served at schools under the mid-day meal scheme. The opposition leaders said the report reflects the sorry state of functioning of the civic body. From November 2012 to February 2012, no food samples were lifted from any schools as the contract with Shriram Institute ceased.

(Published 18 March 2013, 18:38 IST)

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