[box type=”shadow” ]Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has been working on issues like hunger and malnutrition in India by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the Government schools and Government aided schools. “With a capacity to cook up to 100,000 meals at a time, the centralised kitchens at Akshaya Patra serve a set of schools located around the units. They are automated and thus, ensure hygiene during the cooking processes,” Chetan D, Manager-Operations, Akshay Patra writes about the hygiene practices followed by the foundation in their kitchens. [/box]
WE, AT Akshaya Patra Kitchen give utmost importance to cleanliness & hygiene. Equipment are sterilised and floors are cleaned before cooking takes place. As far as cleaning is concerned, the cooking equipment are cleaned in Suma solution and floors are cleaned with Taski 6 and Kleenol detergent soap solution.
Be it centralised or decentralised, kitchens are process-driven from cooking to cleaning of vegetables and vessels. For e.g., vessel washing is done in three tank method: All vessels are dipped in the first tank, soap solution is diluted and vessels are scrubbed in the second one with scratchpad and then vessels are shifted to the next tank to remove soap residues. Most of our kitchens are ISO certified, hence we have a QA team to verity the effectiveness of the cleaning and hygiene procedures.
Vegetables are cleaned with potable water and sanitised before the cutting process. Cold storage is used to store readyto- cook cut vegetables to retain freshness. Rice is supplied by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Before the cooking process, the rice is machine-cleaned and washed thoroughly. In order to ensure all the raw materials are fresh, all the kitchens follow the FIFO (First in First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry First Out) methods while issuing the raw material for production.
Post cooking the entire kitchen area is cleaned. Challenging areas are where there is less accessibility in transferring like vegetables and raw rice in the chute, removing the small food particles from the cooking cauldrons, roof cleaning of all processing areas and cooking areas where the chutes are high.
Excess food wastage is disposed off to piggery. We have biogas plants in three of our kitchens where food waste is used to generate fuel.