Healthy eating in the post-pandemic world

‘Safer food, better health’ in the post-pandemic world

Published on : 6/7/22
  • The pandemic made everyone aware of safety in every aspect of life, including food. Although there was no evidence of the pandemic spreading through food, people became extremely conscious about their diet and health, that directly reflected on the entire food chain from farm to plate.

    As workplaces, social establishments and schools & universities open up now, people are interested to know the safety levels being maintained when raw food materials are sourced from farms and being transported to onsite kitchens, the hygiene standards being observed by kitchen staff, the process of food preparation, packaging and delivery. People are also curious about the ingredients used and how safe, healthy and nutritious the food is. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), along with the Government of India has also come up with The Eat Right India movement that is based on 3 key themes of ‘Eat Safe’, ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Sustainable’. This initiative aims to make people more aware about healthy eating practices that can benefit them as well as the planet. Working conscientiously on this initiative, organisations too are transforming their food sourcing, preparation, and delivery methodologies to inculcate the highest safety standards, and thereby ensure that safe food becomes a differentiator and enabler for employees as they return to workplaces. Sodexo is closely associated with these organisations in making safe and nutritious food available to consumers, thus aiding the certification process.

    Let us discuss about the Food Safety Factors

     

    -Ensure its safe

    Emphasis is given to food safety right from the beginning of its journey. Raw food materials are sourced from local farmers, ensuring freshness and good quality. All vegetables and poultry sourced by Sodexo, to be used in onsite kitchens, are from trustworthy HSE compliant vendors. Since fresh, hygienic, and nutritious meals are a necessity, especially in healthcare institutions, Sodexo takes great care to procure seasonal fruits & vegetables for its partner, for example, SMBT in Nashik from Devnadi Farmers Association. 

    -Grow it safe

    There can be nothing better than to grow vegetables and rear poultry inside the organisational premises, campus. This initiative not only helps create a greener environment, but also provides fresh ingredients every day for the kitchen. Sodexo has helped cultivate kitchen gardens at the offices of its partner, for example Tetra Pak at its Chakan facility. Fresh fruits and vegetables are procured daily from these gardens that follow sustainable food practices. It meets ~30% of the domestic consumption need.

    -Keep it safe

    Once the raw food materials are sourced, it is very important to ensure accurate storage conditions so that food remains fresh and contamination-free. For example, Sodexo ensures that food sourced for students and staff at Jain International Residential School, is stored under ambient temperature conditions before being used in the kitchen. Since nutritious meals are a dire need for students, especially for those indulging in hectic sports activities, care is taken to provide the best ingredients for cooking purposes. Packaging is also a key consideration. Take-aways in food & beverages use contamination-free packaging materials. 

    -Know what’s safe

    As workplaces embrace the new normal and onsite kitchens, along with central kitchens, start functioning at full steam, it is indispensable to re-educate the kitchen staff regarding safe handling of food. At the manufacturing facility of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, the dietetics team of Sodexo conducts regular sessions on food handling to create awareness about food safety. Staff maintain social distancing, undergo regular temperature checks and disinfection, and are provided with PPE kits during food preparation and delivery. Kitchen equipment is thoroughly sanitised and food temperature is checked for food safety. Food is transferred to sterilised utensils for forward movement to different dining areas. 

     

     

    -Team up for food safety

    The Eat Right initiative by FSSAI promotes the collective action by all stakeholders in society towards safe and healthy food practices. In keeping with this, Sodexo associates with all its partners in corporates, manufacturing facilities, healthcare institutions, educational institutes, and remote energy & resources environment, to take conscious steps towards food safety in every aspect. The company not only ensures safe and healthy food for all but also monitors portion sizes so that food waste is minimised, leading to a sustainable world. The collective efforts are helping us earn Eat-Right Certification from FSSAI at our food sites, for complying and implementing best practices in food safety and nutrition. 

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