Of all the IITs and IIMs in addition to AIIMS fail to meet the FSSAI food safety norms in a survey, showing another area of education that needs attention.
In a time when we are all striving really hard to up the ante in the education sector by opening more and more quality institutes across the country, giving reservation to boost the gender ratio in premier institutes and making education free for girls, there are certain things that come to fore every now and them. These events speak a lot about the sorry state of affairs that govern the landscape in the education sector of India.
In the recent development, two of the premier institutes in India that stand as ideals, IIT Delhi and AIIMS to be precise, to the rest in India fail to clear food safety audit and we wonder what the scenario is like in other government and even private colleges for that matter. The availability of unhygienic food in these institutes is a microcosm of macrocosm and things, I fear, are even worse in other institutes, as some of the management as well as medical colleges are already in the list that has failed the food quality audit.
An audit that Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducted has some shocking revelations. The audit team found that cleaned utensils retain food residue, kitchens have rodent droppings all around, reheating of food several times, kitchen staff wearing shoes in the kitchen, overflowing sinks where utensils are cleaned, choked bathrooms and what not. In nutshell, the whole scenario was dismal, unhygienic and disappointing.
The food safety watchdog conducted audits according to their food safety and standard regulations of 2017. The audit was conducted in IISc Bangalore, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Chennai, IIT Kanpur, AIIMS Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, IIM Kozhikode, IIT Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata. The fact is most of the IIM Ahmedabad’s and IIT Roorkee’s campus kitchens passed the audit and rest, surprisingly, failed.
The audit was conducted on canteens, guesthouse kitchens, hostel kitchens and cafeterias on six parameters that include facilities, design to check how the cooking area is maintained in addition to checking whether they have safe food grade cooking utensils and equipment, how food is prepared, personal hygiene, sanitation, maintenance, training, record keeping and many other parameters. The maximum score possible was 114 and any score less than 77 was considered ‘non-compliant’.
Last year, FSSAI has ordered safety audits for canteens of 10 large educational institutes that included IIM, AIIMS, IITs and many other in view of the complaints received in regard to food safety and hygiene standards. The audit was ordered following cases of food safety issues that were reported from canteens/hostels of various academic institutions.