Mangaluru: DHO urges strict adherence to rules in hostels

09:47 AM Feb 13, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

In a bid to tackle the persistent issue of student illnesses in hostels in Mangalore, authorities are stepping up measures to ensure food safety and hygiene. Following an incident where 45 students fell ill after consuming food at a private college in Valachhil, the Health Department swiftly intervened.


During a press conference, the Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer, HR Thimmaya emphasized the importance of implementing safety measures outlined in a recent circular issued by the health department.

Thimmaya stressed the urgency of compliance, stating that hostel heads must adhere to the prescribed measures without delay. He announced that a report on the recent incident must be submitted within two days. The health department promptly dispatched a team to investigate the food and water sources at the affected college, leading to the closure of its kitchen pending further investigation. Samples of the food have been sent for testing in Mysuru, with actions to be taken based on the findings.

Despite repeated warnings, such incidents continue to occur due to lax adherence to safety protocols. Consequently, hostels are now being monitored closely by local primary health centers, with investigations underway by health department staff. Thimmaya warned of legal consequences under the Food Safety and Quality Authority and the Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1997 Revised Rule 2020 for establishments found operating outside regulatory guidelines.

To mitigate risks, Thimmaya outlined several key measures including regular cleaning of water tanks, installation and maintenance of water purifiers, and periodic testing of water quality. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of supplying clean, boiled water for drinking, particularly during the current high temperatures. A meeting of hostel authorities has been convened to reinforce safety protocols.


In a move to further ensure food safety, Dr. Praveen Kumar, District Officer, emphasized the mandatory registration and licensing of all food suppliers to hostels, paying guests, and boarding schools under FSSAI regulations. This requirement extends to Anganwadi centers and schools producing midday meals.

Notably, authorities are taking proactive steps to maintain hygiene standards within hostel kitchens, including stringent cleanliness measures, rodent control, and proper storage of food items. Cooks and helpers are mandated to undergo health checks every six months and observe strict hygiene practices while handling food.

In light of recent incidents and ongoing investigations, it is evident that concerted efforts are underway to safeguard the health and well-being of hostel residents in Mangaluru.


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