A complete ban on the sale of potato wafers, soft drinks and other junk food in school canteens and within 50 meters of school campus as also their advertisement has been proposed by the food regulator FSSAI with a view to encouraging children to consume only safe and wholesome food.
“Foods which are referred to as foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to school children in school canteens or mess premises or hostel kitchens or within 50 meters of the school campus,” FSSAI said. The food business operators (FBOs) manufacturing HFSS food products would be barred from advertising such foods in school premises or within 50 meters of the school campus, it added.
In June this year, FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal had announced that the regulator has proposed banning advertisements of unhealthy food in and around schools. The school authority itself or food business operators (FBOs) contracted by it and FBOs contracted by Department of School Education for operation of the mid-day meal scheme will have to “obtain a registration or licence” as applicable and comply with the requirements of sanitary and hygienic practices specified under the food safety law.
The FSSAI has proposed that school authorities will have to adopt a comprehensive programme for promoting safe food and healthy diets among school children. The school campus should be converted into ‘Eat Right School’ focusing safe and healthy food, local and seasonal food and no food waste as per the specified benchmarks.