Bangalore, July 22: After the mid day meal tragedies in Bihar and Dhenkanal, the Karnataka government has stepped on the gas to ensure that government schools here meet the mid day meal scheme standards. And in order to do so, it has directed the teachers of the school to taste the food before it is being served to the children.
"Two of the teachers should be tasting the food before being served. This was already in place when the mid day meal scheme started, but there are hardly any schools that follow the regulations," said primary and secondary education minister Kimmane Rathnakar.
"Teachers and cooks are also being given special powers to reject any ingredient be it vegetables, rice or spices," he further added.
Random quality checks of food is among the top priorities of the government. It is also thinking of launching a new scheme to monitor infrastructure issues that include storage facilities, quality of drinking water, transportation and the like.
A monitoring team, comprising nutritionist, food inspector, dietician, doctor and members from drug-testing laboratories, is likely to be in place some time soon. This team would conduct random checks and give feedback to the government regarding the quality of the mid day meal. A vigilance team would also conduct inspections on the way the food is prepared, how it is stored and washed.