Canteen and mess hygiene has turned out to be the most talked about issue last year after The Food Safety & Standards Rules, 2011 was introduced from August 6, 2011. The move drove city campuses to start practising food safety and hygiene norms.
Following this trend, St Xavier’s college recently organised a training session for its 39 canteen staff.
A professor told DNA, “The responsibility to ensure food safety now falls on the entire food supply chain — production, processing, distribution and marketing, and not just the food inspector who nabs the food vendor. As this becomes mandatory for college canteens, we organised a training programme on December 21 for the whole canteen staff.”
Asha Shridhar, head, food safety, at TUV India was invited as guest lecturer. She provided tips in both Hindi and English. One of the SYBSc students also presented a lecture titled “How safe is our food”.
The staff was told about the physical, chemical and biological hazards commonly present in unsafe foods, the common source of contamination and hygienic practices. Some of the canteen staff said that they were following many of these measures but agreed that now they would implement these safety standards immediately.
The staff were also told about HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points) principles which were conceived five decades ago when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States asked a company to prepare safe food for astronauts. Since then, HACCP has been recognised internationally as a scientific food safety system.
Dr Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St Xavier’s College, said, “We are committed to using science to ensure food safety on campus and creating a culture of cleanliness.”