Midday meal deaths could have been prevented: UNICEF

New Delhi, Jul 18: UNICEF today said that the deaths caused due to midday meals in Bihar could have been prevented with strict adherence to protocols for preparing the meal. UNICEF said it is in touch with the concerned authorities to understand what happened and find ways to prevent such incidents from taking place in future.

"While acknowledging that India's midday meal scheme is the largest school feeding programme in the world and that the government is working to strengthen and improve its management, UNICEF considers that effective actions must be urgently taken," the UN agency said in a release here.

It noted that the protocols for adequate and safe preparation of the midday meal are in place. They include keeping the cooking place and utensils clean and free from insects and flies, adequate and safe storage space, proper washing of vegetables and other ingredients before cooking, proper personal hygiene of the cook and helper, tasting of food before serving and hand washing with soap by children before eating. 


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