Kolar chosen for SoP in midday meal scheme

The state government has implemented standard operating procedure (SoP) for midday meal scheme in the district, a first of its kind initiative in Karnataka.

There has been a rise in the number of children falling sick after consuming midday meal served at schools across the state. Considering such incidents seriously, the state government has launched the standard operating procedure to ensure safety of children. Supply of substandard food grains, lack of hygiene in kitchen, use of unsafe water and negligence of cooking staff have been responsible for such incidents. The SoP will ensure quality at every stage of midday meal scheme so that the children are served hygienic and quality food. It facilitates scientific determination of quality of the food grain as well as the meals.

In the first stage, the state government has ordered to collect food samples from 12 schools in the district and subject them to a quality check. The district midday meal officer and the officials from the Education department will pay surprise visit to the select schools for collecting the samples. The whole process would be videographed. The samples so collected would be sent to the laboratory of public health institute in Bengaluru. The experts at this institute will analyse samples and submit a report on their quality. The government has released special grants for this whole exercise.

Midday meal scheme is being implemented in 1,942 government schools and 106 aided schools in Kolar district. Food is being served to a total of 1,32,571 children under the scheme. The food samples have been collected from the primary schools at Harati and Abbani village in Kolar taluk and the report is expected soon.

S N Kannayya, the education officer in charge of midday meal scheme, said that the state government had come with standard operating procedure to ensure quality and safety of food served under the scheme. The project is being implemented on a pilot basis in Kolar and Mandya districts. Depending upon the success, it would be extended to other districts also, he said.

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