Rat in mid-day meal: Sample fails quality test

It is official. The mid-day meal served to students in a Delhi government school in Deoli, Sangam Vihar, on February 17 was unfit to eat. As much as 50 per cent of the food sample collected on the day when a dead rat was found in the meal has failed the quality test. Nine students from the school had fallen ill after consuming the meal.

The Delhi government’s Department of Food Safety had lifted six food samples from the school on February 17. On Monday, the department sent a letter to the Director of Education, giving details about the test results and urging for necessary action.

“Three of the six samples have failed the quality test and have been found to be unsafe. When categorised under the unsafe category, the samples are considered to be extremely harmful for consumption. The maximum punishment is life imprisonment,” a senior official from the Department of Food Safety said. The sample lifted included masoor dal, chana dal, poori, and rice. They have now been sent to the Central Referral Laboratory for final confirmation.

As per the process, once the department finds samples unfit for consumption, a notice is sent to the food supplier. If the supplier reaches out to the court, the samples are sent to the Central Referral Laboratory for final confirmation. If the samples fail the test there as well, the supplier is punished as per the guidelines.

On February 17, nine students of the Government Boys Senior Secondary School in Deoli had to be rushed to the Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital after a dead rat was found in the mid-day meal served to them. The Directorate of Education (DOE) officials said the mid-day meal was being supplied to the school by a private firm.

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