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Food Commission finds mid-day meal ‘unsafe’ in Odisha, seeks action

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Bhubaneswar: Samples of food being served in some schools under the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme in Odisha have been found to be unsafe.

The Odisha State Food Commission (OSFC) has asked the State government to take action against the concerned authorities for feeding unsafe food to school children.

“I am directed to enclose herewith a copy of the information related to Unsafe MDM Report for the year 2016 & 2017, received from Deputy Director-cum-Food Analyst, Odisha, Bhubaneswar and to request you to take urgent action in the matter. Further, you are requested to take action against the authorities who fed such unsafe food to the school children, under intimation to the Commission,” OSFC’s Member Secretary Rajashree Mohanty has written in a letter addressed to Principal Secretary School and Mass Education Department/Secretary Health & Family Welfare Department/Commissioner Food Safety/SNO (MDM) State Project Management Unit (MDM).

The Member Secretary has appended a detailed list of schools from which cooked food samples of Mid-Day Meals were drawn up for tests in 2016 and 2017 from the districts of Malkangiri, Balasore, Koraput, Sundergarh, Khordha, Jajpur and Balangir.

Notably, mid-day meals scheme, the school meal programme which was started in 1995 by the Government of India with the twin objectives of enhancing gross enrolment ratio at the elementary level and providing nutritional benefits to school going children has been often in news for the wrong reasons.