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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 938-943

Safety of food served in Mid-Day Meal program: An in-depth study in upper primary schools of Kolkata

1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jayeeta Burman
Room No 204, Department of PSM, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, 110, Chittranjan Avenue, Kolkata - 700 073, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_59_19

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Introduction: The Mid-Day Meal (MDM) program is the world's biggest supplementary school lunch program and is being implemented all over India for primary and upper primary school students. To continue a healthy program, personal hygiene of food handlers and beneficiaries should be well maintained. Objective: This study aims at examining the status of food safety measures including personal hygiene of food handlers and beneficiaries of MDM. Methodology: An institution-based observational study with cross-sectional design was conducted in upper primary schools (government, government-aided school) in Kolkata over a period of 2 years from November 2016 to October 2018. A sample of 52 schools from a total of 515 schools were then selected by simple random sampling. Analyses were conducted using SPSS software (SPSS Inc., released 2007 SPSS for Windows, version 16.0). Results: Among 52 schools, 53.8% were government-aided schools and 46.2% were government schools. There were significant differences in cleaning practice by cook-cum-helper (CCH) (χ2 = 4.4, df = 1, P = 0.036), personal hygiene of CCH (χ2 = 19.01, df = 1, P = 0.000) and beneficiaries (χ2 = 9.3, df = 1, P = 0.002), practice during serving (χ2 = 4.4, df = 1, P = 0.036), and use and storage of oils and condiments in MDM (χ2 = 27.7, df = 1, P = 0.000) between government and government-aided schools. Conclusion: School authority should be concerned about maintaining proper hygiene. Adequate facilities and training program must be arranged for CCH to provide a healthy meal.

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