Punjab orders officials to check quality of midday meals in schools

Chandigarh/July 18
Taking a cue from the midday meals tragedy in Bihar where 22 children died after eating midday meal, Punjab’s Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka on Thursday issued directions to all authorities concerned to ensure maintenance of total hygiene in serving the mid day meal and said that all Principals and heads of the school would be personally accountable laxity on the issue.
Maluka instructed all the officers to ensure the smooth flow of midday meal scheme in government schools of the state besides proper monitoring of scheme following the directions issued by the department.
“Strict action will be taken against concerned officials in case of any laxity or negligence on the part of school heads or principals,” Maluka said, adding that principals and school heads should ensure the daily cleanliness of kitchen and store where food was cooked and raw material including pulses, flour is stored.
He also said that the cook and the helpers should also pair their nails before cooking or serving the food besides tying up their hairs properly. “Cooks will also have to ensure washing of their hands before cooking procedures and officers have been directed to procure the cooking materials including flour and rice from Punsup of high quality,” he said.
Maluka said that only high quality pulses and fresh vegetables should be cooked and served among students. He also asked to use sealed refined oil of a reputed company besides iodine salt.
“A checking campaign has also been launched in this regard,” he added.