FSSAI’s food safety draft proposals have been put out in the public domain for feedback before they are notified. The proposals, called the Food Safety and Standards (Safe and Wholesome Food for School Children) Regulations 2018, seek to prescribe standards for food items sold or supplied in school messes, kitchens, eateries run by food business operators, and even vending machines.
Schools will be asked to make distinctions between eatables by marking them green, yellow and red. Green will indicate fresh food, yellow will imply packaged food, and red colour will mean food items high in salt, sugar and fat. They suggest that food and beverages categorised as green or yellow should be largely be on school menus and items labelled as red, with high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) content will be discouraged from being sold or provided inside school campuses.
It also emphasises on the a balanced diet for school-goers that should provide about 50-60 per cent of the total calories from carbohydrates (preferably from complex carbohydrates), about 10-15 per cent from proteins and 20-30 per cent from both visible and invisible fat. In addition, it should provide such non-nutrients as dietary fibre and antioxidants, which bestow positive health benefits.
The draft regulations also state that schools selling or catering school meals must obtain a license or be registered as food business operators (FBO) as prescribed by the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.