By Dr Saurabh Arora*

The Food Safety Standards Authority of India has launched an initiative called ‘Eat Right Campus‘ that targets campuses to promote food that is safe, healthy and sustainable. Representatives including staff and food handlers underwent the Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC) to meet the audit requirements for Eat Right Campus. The audit focused on several aspects such as safe, healthy, and sustainable food along with creating awareness.

FDA plans to expand their ‘Eat Right Campus’ program which consists of campuses, BHOG and Eat Right Stations. The primary goal is to promote healthy and safe food among educational institutions, corporate offices, hospitals, and government offices BHOG temples, railway stations etc. This initiative serves as a reminder to everyone that consuming nutritious meals is essential for maintaining wellness. By implementing these guidelines, people can reap the benefits of healthier lifestyles.

Safe, healthy, and sustainable food would prevent illnesses, deficiency diseases, and non-communicable diseases among people on campus. This equates to reduced absenteeism, more wellbeing, motivation, and productivity. Healthcare costs for the workplace or institution could be lowered as well. Ultimately, these factors would result in economic benefits for the entire campus community.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

If you’re wondering what it takes for a campus to be certified as an ‘Eat Right Campus’, let’s take a look at their benchmarks. Four parameters have been created, such as food safety measures and provision of healthy and environmentally sustainable food, and building awareness among individuals on campus to make the right food choices. A detailed checklist based on these parameters outlines the best practices, including licensing and registration of food service providers, complying with food safety standards and hygiene requirements in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006. The campus should also promote local and seasonal foods, limit unhealthy eating habits while raising awareness through mass activities promoting safe, healthy eating lifestyles.

Certification Process of Eat Right Campus

When a campus enrolls in the programme, it undergoes an evaluation to identify areas for improvement. This involves a checklist-based self-assessment or third-party audit facilitated by an FSSAI empaneled agency. The campus administration makes efforts to address the gaps detected.

To further enhance Food Safety Standards, training programmes are carried out for food handlers and Food Safety Supervisors through FSSAI’s Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) Programme.

After addressing the gaps and implementing improvements, the campus undergoes a third-party audit by the same FSSAI-empaneled agency. The agency awards a rating on a scale of up to five stars, indicating progress made towards ensuring food safety standards in the campus.

When a campus earns three or more stars, it achieves ‘Eat Right Campus’ certification, which lasts for two years. To maintain this achievement, the campus appoints a nodal person to oversee efforts and ensure best practices. Additionally, regular inspections are carried out by the Food Safety Department or audit agencies to ensure quality control until certification is renewed. It’s all part of the dedication to providing healthy options and promoting wellness on campus.

To earn an Eat Right Campus certificate, corporate offices and educational institutes must pass a third-party audit. During the audit, adherence to program parameters is evaluated. These parameters cover food safety measures, provisions for healthy and environmentally sustainable food, and promotion of awareness among campus members about making proper food choices. Certificates are awarded to those who successfully meet these criteria.

Auriga Research (certification division) is an approved certification body and actively contributed for these initiatives with Delhi FDA and FSSAI

Several audits have been conducted in Delhi to enhance food safety and quality. The FDA of different states and FSSAI are working together towards this cause, including conducting awareness training programs. FSSAI has introduced several schemes, such as Eat Right Campus, Eat Right Challenge, Eat Right School, Eat Right Station, BHOG and Hygiene.

The FDA Delhi has also put significant effort into improving food quality and performing audits. These initiatives serve to promote healthy eating habits and ensure that we have access to safe and nutritious food options. FSSAI, the central authority responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of food, has launched an initiative in partnership with state FDAs to improve food standards. As part of this, audits are being conducted under the Eat Right Initiative which includes categories like BHOG and Eat Right Campus. There are 8 categories in total, such as “Eat Right Stations’ ‘ and “School Campuses,” including some prominent places in Delhi such as Nizamuddin stations, temples, police stations, and offices. The FOSTAC program is used to ensure food safety standards in certified locations.

So far 85 audits of Eat Right Campus have been conducted out of which 75 got certification.Hospitals such as Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Fortis Hospital have all successfully obtained certification through the initiative along with RPSF HeadQuarters 6th Battalion Delhi and many more.Apart from this, 7 Eat Right Stations have been certified, including New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station, Okhla Railway Station, Nizamuddin Station, and others. These stations are dedicated to serving food that is nutritious and healthy for travelers. With Eat Right Stations in place, passengers can now enjoy tasty meals without compromising on quality or safety. Besides 10 BHOG Audits have been done among which 7 have been certified namely Shri Hanuman Balaji Mandir, Radha Govind Samiti Mandir, ISKCON Temple in Rohini, Shri Sanatan Dharam mandir, Jagannath temple and many more. Likewise 8 audits of Clean Street Food Hub have been conducted and 6 were awarded.

To avail our services contact us at;

Auriga Research (Certification division)
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Email : auriga@aurigaresearch.com, fsa@aurigaresearch.com, arbrolab@arbropharma.com

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* A prolific inventor, pharmacist, scientist, technophile and visionary entrepreneur. He has been leading the contract, testing, certifi cation and research business at Arbro and Auriga since 2005 with labs in seven locations. Invented, patented and commercialised SNEC 30, a scientifically advanced curcumin supplement; Founder of Food Safety Helpline; Founder and Mentor of Lab-Training.com.