Srinagar, Mar 31: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday declared National Institute Technology (NIT) Srinagar as the first certified Eat Right Campus (ERC) in engineering category in Kashmir valley.
In a communique, State Nodal Officer, Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) J&K Firdous Ahmad informed that NIT Srinagar has become 1st certified Eat Right Campus (ERC) in Engineering Category in Kashmir for the period of 2 years and has achieved all compliance of rules as set by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The audit is done through a checklist based on five parameters. On the basis of the final audit score, the institute is certified as ‘Eat Right Campus’ with a five-star rating.
The parameters include Compliance to food safety and hygiene healthy diets, Food waste management, Promotion of local and seasonal foods on campus, and awareness of food safety and healthy diets in and around campus.
Director NIT Srinagar, Prof. (Dr.) Rakesh Sehgal said getting certified ERC is a proud moment for the entire Institution. This certification of ERC will also help others to adopt and promote healthy food practices on campus for the well-being of their students and the community, he said.
“Hygienic food is our priority and there will be no compromise on its quality. We have enforced food safety standards and regulations in place and are conducting regular inspections and audits of ration,” Director said.
Prof. Sehgal appreciated the Dean Students Welfare NIT Srinagar, Prof. Abdul Limam who is also Chairman Student Mess, NIT Srinagar and Nodal Officer of ERC, Shazan Raja and his entire team for their exemplary work.
Institute’s Registrar, Prof. Syed Kaiser Bukhari said it is a matter of pride for our Institute. Over the past several years, NIT Srinagar has upgraded its infrastructure in all its messes and fulfilled the basic requirement for ERC, he said.
“We followed all ERC guidelines and conducted self-assessment on four parameters including safe food, healthy food, sustainable food and building awareness among the mess staff,” he said.
Prof. Bukhari said branded raw materials of the best quality are used for preparing food. Strict directions were in place to ensure healthy food on campus, he said, adding that complaints from students are also addressed timely.
Chairman Student Mess NIT Srinagar, Prof. Abdul Limam said in order to ensure students consume nutritious food in NIT premises, all guidelines from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are being adhered.
“Eating nutritious and healthy food reduces the incidents of food-borne deficiency and non-communicable diseases among the students. All precautions are in place to ensure quality food to students,” he said.
Prof. Liman said from the past two years, focus has been made on cleanliness in student messes.Mess staff is being trained professionally to ensure hygienic atmosphere in student messes,” he said.
“We conduct review meetings from time to time to ensure safe and nutritious food for the students. We have also served notices to the contractors to comply with FSSAI rules and regulations,” Prof. Liman said.
He also expressed his gratitude to the ERC team for conducting inspections in NIT Srinagar and Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) J&K for their continuous support.
Nodal Officer of ERC, Shazan Raja who is also caretaker of all messes of NIT Srinagar said that they are providing meals to 2300 students in 6 messes of the campus.
“We have improved various facilities in our campus messes. Food quality is being maintained. Steeliness Steel utensils are being used to serve meals. Proper waste management is in place” he said.
Shazan said students themselves decide their menu and accordingly raw material is purchased. To monitor the hygiene and food quality, Student Representative Committee from each hostel has been framed, he said.
Eat Right India is a flagship mission of FSSAI, which aims at ensuring that the citizens of the country get safe and nutritious food.
The ‘Eat Right Campus’ initiative mainly focuses on promoting safe, healthy and sustainable food in campuses such as schools, universities, colleges, workplaces, hospitals, tea estates and other public places across the country.