Odisha Min questions Food panel’s report on ‘unsafe’ midday meals

Bhubaneswar: A situation that can be termed queer, the School & Mass Education (SME) department of the State government instead of taking action and fixing responsibility on the basis of the report of the Odisha State Food Commission (OSFC) which had found samples of midday meals served in some schools to be unsafe, has questioned the veracity of the report.

After receiving the report from the OSFC which suggested for action against erring authorities, the SME department has instead shot a letter to the Commission to provide details of the process and modalities undertaken during the testing of the collected food samples.

School & Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra even has questioned the veracity of the Commission’s report.

“Samples were tested in which laboratory? How far is it from the location from which the sample was drawn? If the laboratory concerned is located at a distance which would take two-five hours to reach, so food can get rotten by this time. I would like to know what they mean by saying unsafe. The Food Commission should explain that to us,” said Patra speaking to the media on the Food Commission’s report.

“Yes we have already sought a report from the Food Commission on this account,” he added.

On the other hand, Food Commission Member Sipra Mallick has said that their report was based on the findings of the tests conducted by Deputy Director-cum-Food Analyst, Odisha and she has no problem in sharing details of it with the SME department.

“In the report it has been stated that the food served to students in those schools was of inferior quality. There is no problem in informing them. We have based our report on the findings of the Food Analyst of Government of Odisha,” Mallick said in her reaction to the SME department’s letter to the Commission and the departmental Minister’s comments.

Notably, the Food Commission had asked the State government to take action against the concerned authorities for feeding unsafe food to school children as we reported here.


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