World Food Safety Day: Delhi University & FSSAI collab; students hope canteens will improve - Hindustan Times
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World Food Safety Day: Delhi University & FSSAI collab; students hope canteens will improve

ByKriti Kambiri
Jun 07, 2024 06:00 AM IST

Delhi University students, fed up with unhygienic conditions at canteens, hope healthy options will be introduced in colleges after certification from FSSAI.

Delhi University’s college canteens have been a hot topic of discussion; from a dead lizard in the fried rice at Hindu College’s canteen to Hansraj College’s cafeteria banning non-vegetarian food, a lot has happened over the academic year that’s coming to a close. But now, the varsity has announced a collaboration with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and usually lamenting youngsters are hopeful that the condition of their canteens might improve.

Students are welcoming the collaboration between DU and FSSAI, under the latter's outreach programme, Eat Right Campus. (Photo: Gokul VS/HT (For representational purposes only))
Students are welcoming the collaboration between DU and FSSAI, under the latter's outreach programme, Eat Right Campus. (Photo: Gokul VS/HT (For representational purposes only))

Talking about the collaboration — which is part of the FSSAI’s outreach programme, Eat Right Campus — DU proctor Rajni Abbi informs us that Food Security Officers will be appointed in each college. “Conferences will be held to educate students, faculty and canteen personnel about food hygiene and security. After this we will declare DU an Eat Right University,” Abbi adds.

Students and members of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) alike have gladly welcomed the move. Sachin Baisla, joint secretary of the DUSU informs us that students often approach the union when they face issues with their canteens. Talking about the options currently on offer in most colleges, he says, “Patties and samosas are the most common foods in any canteen. These are readily displayed available everywhere and are the cheapest items available for students looking for pocket-friendly options. But who knows how long these have been sitting on the shelves?”

"There are no healthy options available... almost everything is made with maida. Colleges need to introduce healthy breakfast and snacking options." Akanksha Goyal, First-year student, Kirori Mal College

Shubhi Seth, a first-year student of BA (Prog) at Ramjas College is among the many students who have been concerned about the unhygienic conditions. “When I tell my parents I’m going to eat at the canteen, they get stressed because they know how unhygienic the food is. If canteens do go under the scanner, at least health concerns will be resolved,” she informs, adding, “Otherwise fresh juice pe hi zinda rehna padhta tha because we couldn’t trust anything prepared in the kitchens.”

Others, including Hardik Khattar, a first-year student of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, hope that the move will also bring healthier food options to their canteens. “Our canteen is great if you’re there to sit and chill,” says Khattar, who is also part of the college cricket team. He continues: “The food on the menu does not take into account micro and macro nutrients required to maintain the physique and health to represent the varsity, especially considering that sportspersons like me spend all day in the field. I really hope this glow up is not only in terms of safety and hygiene standards only, but also in terms of the variety and options we get.”

 

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