Continuing its commitment to ensuring food safety and promoting healthy eating, the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) has once again bagged the Eat Right Campus Award with a five-star rating from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), creating a hat-trick by winning the prestigious award for the third consecutive time.
FSSAI has certified IITGN as the ‘Eat Right Campus’ with a five-star rating for a period of two years, i.e. till November 2024. The certificate is awarded after third-party auditing of all its messes and eateries. The audit is done based on a checklist of the following five parameters: a) Compliance to food safety and hygiene; b) Healthy diets; c) Food waste management; d) Promotion of local and seasonal foods on campus; and e) Promotion and awareness on food safety and healthy diets in and around campus.
IITGN was one of the First Educational Institutes in India to receive the Eat Right Campus Award with a five-star rating, when it was first introduced in 2019. The Institute ensures strict compliance with all food standards and safety guidelines in each of its mess, food joints and canteens on the campus. Both student mess and all the food joints on campus are licensed by FSSAI, and their food handlers are trained periodically by the Food Safety Awareness and Training Organization (FSATO), an empanelled training partner of FSSAI.
Sharing her opinion about food in IITGN mess and eateries, Mamta Bhambhani, a first-year BTech student in Electrical Engineering, said, “The food is pretty good as I eat at my home, opposite to what one generally hears about the food in hostel messes. The menu changes every time, which is also interesting instead of eating the same food every day.”
Nimitt, a student from Himachal Pradesh, said, “The mess officials and staff at IITGN are very professional, and the cleanliness is very well maintained. We get a variety of good food from almost every region of our country.”
Attributing this award to the teamwork of all the stakeholders, Prof Sivapriya Kirubakaran, Dean of Student Affairs, IITGN, said, “Getting this recognition for the third consecutive time not only gives each one of us a sense of fulfilment but it also reflects on our sustained “Teamwork”. I take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders, mess contractors, eateries in the hostel and academic area, their employees, the support staff from housekeeping services, our Green Office, The IWD team, our students, faculty and staff members who have been contributing in many ways to sustain high-quality services at all eating joints of the campus.”
Sharing his thoughts on this recognition, Mr Vijay Anand Kalal, a staff from one of the two student messes at IITGN, said, “It feels great and encouraging to be part of IITGN that gives so much importance to healthy eating practices because ultimately our lives and health depends on what we eat. This kind of exercise also provides guidance for improving our services.”
Eat Right Campus Initiatives by IITGN:
IITGN ensures high standards for the quality of food served at its dining halls and other eating joints. Appropriate measures are taken to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. All the food joints on campus have valid FSSAI licence. The Institute focuses on healthy food habits; the menu served in the mess is tailored every month by the student mess council for a balanced diet that provides the body with essential nutrition. Besides, all the food joints use fortified foods (+F) such as double fortified Salt, Rice, Wheat Flour, Oil and Milk, to further enhance the food nutrition.
IITGN also promotes local and seasonal foods by inclusion of such vegetables and fruit items in the monthly menu. The food waste is sent to the in-house biogas plant to make manure. The mess committee regularly conducts awareness programs to reduce food wastage. A notice board outside both the dining halls displays the amount of daily food wastage to create a sense of responsibility among the community.