MDM, Personal Hygiene, Cleanliness and Health Checkups
- Cooks and helpers should maintain a high degree of personal hygiene and cleanliness. The person suffering from infectious disease should not be permitted to work. Biannual health checks up should be undertaken to ensure fitness for the job of CCH. Cooks/helpers should report immediately to their supervisors, if they are suffering from any disease likely to be transmitted via food, e.g. diarrhoea or vomiting, infected wounds like, skin infections, jaundice or sores.
- All food handlers should remain clean, wear washed clothes and keep their finger nails trimmed, clean and wash their hands with soap/ detergent and water before commencing work and every time after touching, raw or contaminated food or using toilet. All Cook cum helpers should avoid wearing loose items that might fall into food and also avoid touching or scratching their face, head or hair.
- It should be ensured that all CCHs are instructed and trained in food hygiene and food safety aspects along with personal hygiene requirements commensurate with their work activities, the nature of food, its handling, preparation, service and distribution. Training programmes should be regularly reviewed and updated wherever necessary.
- Nail polish or artificial nails should not be worn because they can become foreign bodies and may compromise on food safety. No watches, rings, jewellery and bangles should be worn during cooking, serving and distribution where there is a danger of contamination of product.
- Chewing, smoking, spitting and nose blowing should be prohibited within the premises especially while handling food.
- The CCHs should have adequate and suitable clean protective clothing, head covering hair should be tied up neatly and ensured that the CCHs at work wear only clean protective clothes and head covering essentially during MDM operation.
- The CCHs should wash their hands at least each time work is resumed and whenever contamination of their hands has occurred; e.g. after coughing / sneezing, visiting toilet, using telephone, smoking etc; avoid certain hand habits – e.g. scratching nose, running finger through hair, rubbing eyes, ears and mouth, scratching beard, scratching parts of bodies etc.- that are potentially hazardous when associated with handling food products, and might lead to food contamination through the transfer of bacteria from the employee to product during its preparation. When unavoidable, hands should be effectively washed before resuming work after such actions.
- Cleanliness is essential for effective control of all pests (mainly rodents, birds, and insects). Wire mesh screens, for example on open windows, doors and ventilators, Page 12 of 15 will reduce the problem of pest entry.
- Generally no pesticides/insecticides should be encouraged or used in cooking area. However if unavoidable, care must be taken to protect people, food, equipment and utensils from contamination before these are applied. Pesticides should always be kept in its original containers, clearly marked and be stored in a locked storage separate from cooking ingredients storage areas. Records of pesticides / insecticides used along with dates and frequency should be maintained.
- Kitchen and the store area should be kept clean and tidy to prevent pest access and to eliminate potential breeding sites. Holes, drain covers and other places where pests are likely to gain access should be kept in sealed condition or fitted with mesh / grills / claddings or any other suitable means as required and animals, birds and pets should not be allowed to enter into the food storage and cooking area. The school maintenance grant made available under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan may be used for this purpose.
- Adequate arrangements including installation of fire extinguishers should be made to deal with incidents of accidental fire in the kitchen area of the school.
Hand Washing for Children
- There should be a dedicated time within the daily time table that will allow enough time for all children, cooks and teachers in the school to wash their hands with soap. The hand washing of the children should be supervised and monitored vigorously .
- Hand wash with soap before and after eating should be vigoursly promoted. The schools may define an area for hand washing where very simple scalable and cost effective multiple hand washing facilities can be installed to be used by large groups of children at a time.
- Empty plastic bottles can be filled with liquid soap and diluted with water. 20-30 plastic bottles filled with diluted hand wash liquid can be used for approximately 200 children for hand washing.
- Wherever proper hand washing facilities are either not available or inadequate for all children, buckets and mugs can be used to supplement the available facilities.