Following complaints of food poisoning due to consumption of flavoured milk by civic school students,BMC has now set up a panel to suggest alternatives.
Headed by Dr Suhasini Nagda,Dean of Nair Hospital,the panel includes senior doctors and dieticians,who will deliberate on food products that can be supplied to civic school students instead of flavoured milk.
We have constituted an expert level panel to suggest alternatives to flavoured milk. We will later examine the feasibility of all suggestions and will finalise the diet for students,an official said. Some of the items the civic body are considering include chaklis,biscuits and rajgira ladoos.
After receiving complaints of children falling ill after consuming flavoured milk,there was a need to work out a more nutritious meal plan for students, a senior civic official from the education department said.
In 2007,the BMC had introduced flavoured milk to around 4.6 lakh students in its 1,170 primary and 49 secondary schools. Although the scheme has been introduced to provide nutritious food to the under-privileged students,it has been mired in controversy since its launch.
In October last year,the civic administration had sent samples of flavoured milk and khichdi part of the mid-day meal scheme to the Food and Drugs Administration as they had allegedly caused food poisoning to students of a civic school in Malad. In another incident in 2010,11 cases of food poisoning were reported after BMC found packaged milk supplied to schools were unfit for consumption.
Following cases of food poisoning,the scheme was discontinued on several occasions,only to be re-introduced a few months later. The civic body had earmarked over Rs 100 crore on a yearly basis for this scheme.
In the 2013-14 budget,the civic body had made a provision of Rs 114.32 crore for primary schools and Rs 17.69 crore for secondary schools,to supply flavoured milk.