IITs, IIMs fail food safety test. Should you be worried?
The campus kitchens of 10 out of India's 12 premier educational institutes don't adhere to food safety rules. They failed a third-party audit conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The appalling hygiene conditions of Indian colleges' kitchens are well known, but if even the IITs and the IIMs don't adhere to the guidelines, what hope is there for other institutes?
Which colleges were reviewed?
As per their draft food safety and standards regulations for 2017, the FSSAI audited all the kitchens/canteens of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; AIIMS (Delhi, Jodhpur); Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata; IIMs (Ahmedabad, Kozhikode); and IITs (Mumbai, Guwahati, Delhi, Chennai, Roorkee and Kanpur). All campus kitchens except for those in IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Roorkee failed to pass the audit.
What were the parameters of assessment?
According to a report, the canteens, hostel/guesthouse kitchens and cafeterias were evaluated on the following six parameters: *Design and facilities: Cooking area's maintenance and the use of safe utensils/equipment *Control of operations: How food is prepared *Maintenance and sanitation *Personal hygiene *Training and record keeping The institutes were marked out of 114. The minimum score needed to clear the test was 77.
Here's what the auditors found
To say what the auditors found was appalling would be an understatement. Among institutes that performed poorly, rodent droppings in kitchens, overflowing sinks, pest infestations, unnetted drains, and storing food/ raw materials on the floor were common. Other problems included water stagnation around sink area, choked/non-functional bathrooms for the staff, using food storage areas as changing rooms by staff, and no cleaning/sanitation records.
Inside the college canteens that scored well
Surprisingly, many of the institutes were not FSSAI licensees. Even those with relatively better audit reports had food residue in cleaned utensils, rusted dough machines, fungus in vegetable storage areas and reused vegetable oil. One institute had shoes stored in the area for keeping raw materials. With such grave compromises in personal hygiene at the top institutes, India's tomorrow is at stake.