Burgers, Pizza, Soft Drinks Banned Within 50 Meters Of Schools: Junk Food Not Allowed!
Another step towards a better future to ensure safe and wholesome food for schoolchildren, the CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Arun Signal, has banned the sale of junk and unhealthy food in canteens of schools and other educational institutions.
Good news for parents, as restrictions don’t stop there as according to the country’s top food regulator, they have also imposed the prohibition of the sale and advertisement of unhealthy food within 50 metres of the school premises.
First Of Its Kind Act
Under the Food Safety and Standard Act, this new Act is a first of its kind as these new FSSAI standards is expected to bring the new principle regulation aimed to provide a safe, nutritious and healthy diet for schoolchildren.
What Does FSSAI Say?
According to a senior FSSAI official, “the idea is to provide safe food and a balanced diet for children in schools. Foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to schoolchildren in school canteens or mess premises or hostel kitchens or within 50 metres of the school campus,”.
Before this, the Delhi High Court ordered FSSAI to regulate junk food being sold in school canteens in 2015.
Soon after, the expert’s committee at the top food regulating agency re-analysed and created new guidelines in regards to providing healthy meals to school children.
As per these guidelines, “Canteen, mess, kitchen operating in school should have a licence from FSSAI. Also, food business operators contracted by the department of education to function the Mid-Day Meal scheme must obtain a registration or licence from the apex food regulating agency and comply with the requirements of hygienic practices as specified under schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Act.”
What About Implementations?
The official said the for smooth functioning and regulations, regular inspection by municipal authorities and state administration will be done at the school premises which further ensure the safe, healthy and hygienic food to be served to students.
Apart from this, the school’s administrations also have to adopt a comprehensive programme for promoting safe food and healthy diets among schoolchildren.
According to the officials, they also have to convert school campus into Eat Right School focusing on safe and healthy food, local, seasonal food and no food waste as per the specified guidelines.
Further, this has to be monitored by a nodal officer nominated by each school.
The official added, “School authorities have to promote the consumption of a safe and balanced diet in the school as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN),”.
For the implementation part, after the date of notification, the schools have to implement these regulations.