New Delhi, Feb 17: India’s top education institutions, including the management and medical colleges, have failed to clear the food safety audit conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The audit team noticed cleaned utensils retaining food residue, rodent droppings around the kitchens, reheating of food several times, kitchen staff wearing shoes in the kitchen, choked bathrooms and overflowing sinks where utensils are cleaned.

The food safety watchdog conducted the audits according to their food safety and standards regulations of 2017 for IIM-Ahmedabad; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi; IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIM Kozhikode, IIT Delhi, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, IIT Chennai, AIIMS Jodhpur; IIT Roorkee; and IIT Kanpur.

At each institution, all kitchens and canteens were audited. Only most of IIM Ahmedabad’s and IIT Roorkee’s campus kitchens managed to pass the audit. The rest failed.

The auditors assessed the canteens, hostel kitchens, guesthouse kitchens and cafeterias on six parameters — design and facilities, which checks how the cooking area is maintained and whether they have safe food-grade cooking utensils and equipment; control of operations, or how food is actually prepared; maintenance and sanitation; personal hygiene; training and record keeping; and other comments, if any.

The maximum score possible was 114, a score less than 77 was considered “non-compliant”.

FSSAI orders food safety audits in IIMs, IITs and AIIMS

Last year, FSSAI said it has ordered safety audits of the canteens at 10 large educational institutes, including IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, in view of complaints with regard to food safety and hygiene standards. Audit has been ordered following cases of food safety issues reported from hostels/canteens of various academic institutions in India.

To strengthen the food safety surveillance system, the FSSAI has taken up audits of food business operators through third-party audit agencies. The audit in select 10 institutes will help to check whether hostel mess/canteen/cafeteria where food is handled in these institutions comply with the food safety and hygiene standards prescribed under the food safety law.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the body is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.