FDA cracks down on self-help groups
Spurred into action after the mid-day meal tragedy in Bihar recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has slapped notices to self-help groups (SHGs) in the city for not adhering to food quality control, and operating without the requisite licences.
So far seven SHGs have been issued show cause notices, some of which supply mid-day meals to schools across the city, and around 14 food samples have been collected for testing from various SHGs since FDA officials commenced the drive, which was kick-started on Monday.
“We are inspecting all SHGs that supply food to schools under the mid-day meal scheme. Till date, we have taken food samples from 14 such establishments. Some of the samples have been randomly taken, while a few were collected after we got suspicious of the food quality,” said Shashikant Kekare, joint commissioner, FDA (Food), Pune division.
FDA officials said that during their inspection, they found many SHG’s not following the guidelines regarding safe food handling.
“There are many SHGs that are not adhering to norms laid out by authorities. At several places, the kitchens of food preparation are unhygienic, and many are transporting the meals in vehicles without the required licences. Neither did they have licenses, nor their vehicles were registered. Hence, we served notices to them.
Seven notices have been served to such SHGs. Out of these, a few SHGs supply mid-day meals to various schools in the city,” said Shivaji Desai, assistant commissioner, FDA (food).