Maggots row: Pending inquiry, SHG to continue mid-day meals

Told to supply only dry and healthy snacks Report after 14 days, FDA tells Edu dept


The Utkarsh Women’s Self-Help Group based in Mangueshi, whose mid-day meal, supplied to students across Savoi Verem, Volvoi and Keri areas in Ponda taluka, found with maggots, is been allowed to continue the supply of meal to students by the Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) pending inspection report. The SHG supplies food to nearly 40 schools in the taluka.

On Tuesday, the SHG had supplied pulao with soya bean chunks to government primary, and government and aided high schools in Savoi Verem, Volvoi and Keri. Some students had even consumed the meal by the time the maggots were noticed.

The Directorate of Education is also awaiting a report from FDA to initiate action against the SHG, if found guilty. FDA has informed the department that the report will be available only after 14 days.

Speaking to The Goan, Director Education Shailesh Zingade said that based on FDA directions, we have allowed the SHG to continue with supply of food like dry and healthy snacks. “FDA only granted them green signal to continue,” he said, adding ‘we are also waiting for the report from FDA to initiate action’.

Zingade said that according to the SHG, they had purchased soya chunks from a shop situated at Mardol and there are reports that maggots were in the soya chunks sold by the shopkeeper. “FDA has collected samples from the shop also,” he said.

According to the procedure, a school representative may be a teacher and a member of Parents Teachers Association has to check and taste the food before it is supplied to the students. However, the procedure seems to have not been followed in these cases.

CM says probe on, strict action to follow

PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said an inquiry has been initiated in the case of maggots in cooked mid-day meals in schools at Keri and Savoi Verem of Ponda taluka.

"Strict action will follow against those responsible. Such incidents happen off and on. That is why we are saying that quality of food (for mid-day meal scheme) is necessary," Sawant said while speaking to the media on Wednesday after the cabinet meeting.

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