Draft Regulation Bans Junk Food Sale, Advertisement In And Around School Campuses
With the aim to ensure safe and wholesome food for School children, the food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India or FSSAI has come out with a draft regulation titled ‘Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019’. The draft regulation has proposed a complete ban on the sale of potato wafers, soft drinks and other junk foods in school canteens and within 50 meters of school campus as also their advertisement.
According to the regulation, the School Authority itself or the food business operators (FBOs) contracted by School Authority selling or catering school meals and FBOs contracted by Department of School Education for operation of the Mid-Day Meal scheme must obtain a registration or license as applicable and comply with the requirements of sanitary and hygienic practices to the food service establishments as specified under schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) regulations, 2011.
The draft regulation also says the foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to school children in school canteens/ mess premises/ hostel kitchens or within 50 meters of the school campus.
It also asks the schools to encourage to adopt a comprehensive program for promoting Safe food and Healthy diets amongst school children, and to convert school campus into Eat Right School focusing safe and healthy food, local and seasonal food and no food waste as per the specified benchmarks.
It also calls for to encourage School Authority to promote consumption of a safe and balanced diet in the school as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).
The draft regulation also says that nutritionists, dietitians may be engaged by the School authority to assist in the preparation of menu for the children, periodically.
It proposes regular inspection of premises to ensure that safe, healthy and hygienic food is served to students.
The FSSAI has invited suggestions and objections from stakeholders within 30 days from the publication of the draft regulations.