Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which serves hot cooked mid-day meal to school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government aided schools, Special Training centres (STC) and Madarasas and Maktabs supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. The MDMs guidelines envisage to provide cooked mid-day meal with 450 calories and 12 g of protein to every child at primary level and 700 calories and 20 g of protein at upper primary level. This energy and protein requirement for a primary child comes from cooking 100 g of rice/flour, 20 g pulses and 50 g vegetables and 5 g oil, and for an upper primary child it comes from 150 g of rice/flour, 30 g of pulses and 75 g of vegetables and 7.5 g of oil.
The mid-day meal should contain adequate nutrients and should be, palatable, hygienic, and operationally feasible. These food safety guidelines are for school level kitchens only, where the mid-day meal is cooked for children. Quality assurance of mid -day meal and food safety should be an integral part of food handling procedures at the school kitchen. The food provided through these kitchens should be nutritious, free from food adulterants, contamination pathogens, artificial non food grade colours, and additives and adhere to food safety and quality norms.
Food safety encompasses selection, handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food borne illness and contamination. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards
Food contamination refers to the presence in food of harmful chemicals and microorganisms which lead to illness. The types of contaminants can be categorised as under:
a) Biological contaminant: includes bacteria, yeasts, molds, viruses or parasites that ar present in air, food, water, soil, animals and humans etc.
b) Physical contaminant: Foreign bodies in food are usually due to accidental contamination and / or poor handling practices these are visible particles like pebbles, Page 6 of 15 stones, metal, glass, wood, insects, soil, dirt, jewellery, hair, fingernails sneezing and coughing etc.
c) Chemical contaminant: Includes Chemicals used for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces; Pest control chemicals, paints and water treatment chemicals; Pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides.
Lifting and Transportation of Food Grains
- As mandated under MDM scheme, food grains are provided by Food Corporation of India. Food grains are to be allocated bi-annually by the Department of School Education & Literacy with the concurrence of Department of Food and Public Distribution for primary and upper primary school level separately. FCI is to ensure continuous availability of adequate quantity of food grains, which will be in any case not less than of Fair Average Quality (FAQ) in its Depots. FCI will appoint a Nodal Officer for each State to take care of various problems in supply of food grains under the scheme.
- The sample (in triplicate) of stocks proposed to be lifted will be drawn jointly in the presence of the representatives of the Collector and/or Chief Executive Officer, District Panchayat and the FCI and the sample slips will be jointly signed and sealed. One such sealed sample will be given to State Government representative, one will be sent to FCI District Office and one will be retained at the depot.
- Samples of lifted food grains shall be retained for 3 months in token of quality of grains received from FCI. In case any complaint of low quality of food grains is received within this period, these samples can be used to ascertain the veracity of the complaint
- The guidelines relating to lifting and transportation of food grains are based on the guidelines issued by MHRD vide letter no F.1-15/2009 – Desk (MDM) dated 10th February, 2010.
Procurement of Oil, Pulses and Condiments
- Only packed dals, salt, spices, condiments and oil with AGMARK quality symbol should be purchased. Any ingredient being sold loose should never be bought. The packaging and expiry date of the ingredients should be checked.
- Only “double fortified salt” should be used for cooking mid day meals. Food grains should be stored in standard bins while, plastic food grade containers are ideal for storage of dals, spices, condiments and other ingredients. Page 7 of 15
Procurement of Perishable Raw Material
- Vegetable, fruits and perishable food commodities should be procured fresh and storing for longer time/duration should be avoided.
- Perishable items should not be stored in plastic bags as these get spoilt quickly due to lack of transpiration. Such items have to be stored away from sunlight, in a cool place.
- Zero energy cool chambers are a low cost alternative to store horticulture produce.
This is an on-farm storage chamber, for fresh fruits, vegetables to extend their marketability. Due to their high moisture content fruits and vegetables have very short life and are liable to spoil. The zero energy cool chambers can be constructed easily with materials like brick, sand, bamboo, khas khas/straw, gunny bag etc. The chamber can keep the temperature 10-15 0 C cooler than the outside temperature and maintain about 90% relative humidity. It is most effective during the summer.
- Storage of raw materials, ingredients should be subject to FEFO (First Expire First Out) or FIFO (First in, First Out) stock rotation system as applicable. Containers made of non-toxic materials should be provided for storage of raw materials. The food materials shall be stored on racks / pallets such that they are reasonably well above the floor level and away from the wall so as to facilitate effective cleaning and prevent harbouring of any pests, insects or rodents.
- No raw material or ingredient should be accepted if it is known to contain parasites, undesirable micro-organisms, pesticides, veterinary drugs or toxic items, decomposed or extraneous substances, which would not be reduced to an acceptable level by normal sorting and/or processing.
- All raw materials, food additives and ingredients, wherever applicable, should conform to all the regulations and standards laid down under the relevant laws.
- All raw materials should be physically checked & thoroughly cleaned. Raw materials should be purchased in quantities that correspond to storage/ preservation capacity. Packaged raw material must be checked for ‘expiry date’/ ‘best before’/ ‘use by’ date, packaging integrity and storage conditions.
Storage of Raw Material
- The supply of food grains like wheat and rice should not be stored for more than a quarter; they may be stored in airtight bins or stacked neatly in gunny bags or bins Page 8 of 15 and stored in area free of rodents and insects. Food grain should not be stored directly on the ground; a wooden plank should be used for stacking of food grains.
- In respect of storage of other raw materials, it should be stored in bags, should be away from the walls (about one feet) to avoid absorption of moisture; the height of the wooden plank may be at least 8 to 12 cms above the floor.
- Ingredients like double fortified salt, condiments, oils soya bean, pulses etc. should be stored in airtight containers.
- All containers should be of materials that do not impart toxicity to food. These containers should be cleaned at regular intervals and thoroughly dried before use. It should be ensured that ingredients used for cooking such as food grains, pulses, vegetables, cooking oil and condiments, are free from adulteration, contaminants, pest and infestation.
- All stored raw materials and ingredients must be kept under dry and cool and ventilated conditions that will prevent spoilage, protect against contamination by pathogenic microorganisms, insects, rodents, foreign bodies, chemicals and damage. This implies that food and non-food materials should not be stored in the same area and not all food materials can be stored together because of risk of contamination. vi. Storage of fuels, disinfectants, detergents, cleaning agents should be strictly away from the stored raw materials and under lock and key.