A self-help group was allegedly found using animal fat to prepare mid-day meals for students at two schools in a Madhya Pradesh village during a surprise inspection by food inspectors today, sources said. Incidentally, this disturbing discovery came amid reports of another school in Uttar Pradesh serving a sparse meal of chapatis and salt to their students as part of the central scheme.
Upon inspecting the kitchen used to cook food for the two schools in Pethiya village, the team from the state food department stumbled upon multiple violations -- including not adhering to the prescribed menu and cooking the food in an unauthorised location.
However, the real shocker came when food inspectors found that the Bismillah Swayamshayata Samuh -- the self-help group appointed to prepare mid-day meals at the school -- was allegedly using goat fat to cook food in violation of government norms. Rules prescribe that the food be cooked in edible oil fortified with Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Samples of the food have been sent for testing.
"It has come to our notice that adulterated food was being served by the self-help group as part of the mid-day meal scheme in the two schools. Samples have been sent to Bhopal for laboratory testing, and the self-help group has been asked to stop preparing mid-day meals for now," said Khandwa district panchayat chief executive officer Roshan Singh, adding that action will be initiated against Bismillah Swayamshayata Samuh head Shanno under the Food Safety and Standards Act if the results turn out to be adverse.
The self-help group catered to over 100 students in the two schools.
About 100 students who study in Classes 1 to 8 in a government school in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur district were filmed eating rotis and salt as their mid-day meal.
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