HYDERABAD: Following incidents of school children falling ill due to food poisoning after having mid-day meals, the School Education Department on Friday conducted a video training for cook-cum-helpers in government schools on how to prepare quality meals in a hygienic manner. Over half a dozen cases of food poisoning have been reported at state-run schools this year.
As many as 38,932 cook-cum-helpers were trained on food safety, nutrition, precautions to be taken while cooking, food poisoning, personal hygiene and sanitation in the kitchen, washing utensils, among others. Some of the instructions said: “Clean the kitchen and workplace before starting a cook. Wash utensils, raw vegetables, rice and other ingredients before cooking. Maintain personal hygiene. Wear a cap, apron and wash hands.”
This was the first time that cooks and kitchen helpers were addressed and trained via teleconferencing.
Some teachers, however, said that it would serve no purpose without actual hands-on training. “The training process should not be centralised. Training is not enough if it is not supplemented by monitoring. More incidents of food poisoning are reported from residential schools only because they lack a monitoring mechanism,” said Chava Ravi, general secretary, TSUTF.