The Government of India on 31 December 2013 issued food safety and hygiene guidelines to prevent contamination of supplementary nutrition provided to pregnant women and children. The guidelines were issued under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. The guidelines were issued by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The issued guidelines have barred the anganwadi workers and helpers from wearing nail polish, and artificial nails. The anganwadi workers and helpers have been asked to trim their nails and should keep them clean while washing the hands. It has also banned them from wearing wrist watches and rings and bangles or any type of jewellery item, while cooking and serving food. These have been banned as these jewellery items may carry foreign bodied and compromise with the hygiene standard.
The Operational Guidelines for Food Safety and Hygiene of ICDS has also mentions that the workers and helpers should tie their hairs neatly and it should be covered. It also mentions that any type of glass should not be allowed in the cooking areas.
As per the issued guidelines, an adequate precaution for cleanliness has been issued for the staffs to prevent the food from getting contaminated during cleaning of rooms, utensils or any other equipment. It has also mentioned that before using any equipment, while cooking food should be washed with water.
It has also mentioned that toilets should be cleaned all the times to make safe disposal of stool and wastes. It has said that the activity rooms, should be well ventilated and also be spacious, which should be cleaned every day before the start of the functions in the morning.
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme
Integrated Child Development Services scheme was launched on 2 October 1975. ICDS Scheme represents one of the world’s largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development. ICDS is the foremost symbol of India’s commitment to her children – India’s response to the challenge of providing pre-school education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality, on the other.
Objectives: The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme was launched in 1975 with the following objectives
• To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
• To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
• To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
• To achieve effective co-ordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
• To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education
Services: The above objectives are sought to be achieved through a package of services comprising
• Supplementary nutrition
• Health check-up
• Referral services
• Pre-school non-formal education
• Nutrition & health education
The concept of providing a package of services is based primarily on the consideration that the overall impact will be much larger if the different services develop in an integrated manner as the efficacy of a particular service depends upon the support it receives from related services.
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