At Matunga’s Khalsa College Canteen, utmost importance is given to ample space for different dishes to be cooked separately. This allows the workers to focus on their area of cooking and take responsibility to clean it regularly.
When Team DNA was revisiting the colleges that participated in the Hygiene for Kitchen workshops, Khalsa College, where the inaugural session of workshops was conducted, surprised us with the hygiene measures being followed at the canteen.
Ravinder Singh, who is running the canteen for almost a year now, has put his 15 years of experience into making the canteen a hygienic place to eat for the collegians. “We are providing a wide range of dishes at the canteen, starting from simple vada pav or sandwiches to pav bhaji and lunch thali. We have five different platforms to cook these dishes separately. One or two workers work at each platform. This avoids any kind of mess or crowd in the kitchen,” said Singh.
At this canteen, there is a dedicated platform to prepare dishes like sandwiches and burgers, a separate one to cook dishes like pav-bhaji and puri bhaji and yet another one near the window to cook Chinese dishes. “When we prepare Chinese dishes, a lot of smoke is generated, and since the counter is near the window, the smoke goes out immediately,” explained Singh
Out of the remaining two platforms, one is specifically dedicated for cutting vegetables and preparing different types of chatnis to be served with different dishes. The other one is used for frying.
According to Devinder Kaur, convenor for canteen committee at the college, the college is going to seek hygiene certification, which will add to the canteen’s credibility. “We are going conduct periodical testing of the water at our microbiology lab. We are also planning to send the food and water samples for testing every three months to the neighbouring Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) which is an expert,” said Kaur.
Jasmeet Kaur Ghai, a professor said: “When the canteen serves the food to the staff room, the food is properly packed in plastic bags. The packed food is brought our staff room, along with paper plates. The food is unpacked and served in those paper plates. This avoids any kind of contamination.”
“We get all kinds of dishes which are cooked right. There is no compromise on the taste or the hygiene. We see women regularly coming in with brooms to clean the canteen, so there is no chance of any garbage or dust lying around,” said a student.
“During our annual college festival, we will conduct a fine arts competition and ask the students to decorate the canteen walls. This will also ensure cleanliness in the canteen as the walls need to be taken care of regularly,” said Kaur.