New Delhi: The government on Monday said it received 41 complaints of irregularities in the working of the mid-day meal scheme in the past three years while several samples collected failed to meet nutritional and caloric values.
The HRD Ministry also received 39 complaints of poor quality of food served.
Disclosing these in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said out of the 41 complaints received, actions have been taken in 31 cases by the state governments.
While 11 complaints were received from Uttar Pradesh between 2010 and 2012, seven complaints were received from Bihar during 2011 and 2012.
"The test report by Sriram Institute for Industrial Research New Delhi also shows that many samples failed to meet nutritional and caloric value prescribed under the guidelines," he said in a written reply.
To another question, HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju informed that the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories (NABL) has been asked to collect samples from the field for testing on parameters such as micro-biological presence or absence of e-coli, chemical parameters such as moisture content, fats, protein and caloric value of the meal.
"The state governments have also been requested to consider engaging Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, CSIR institute or NABL-recognised labs for carrying out sample checking of the food to ensure quality meal to students," he said.
Twenty-three students had died in Bihar after consuming mid-day meal on July 16.
Raju said the forensic science laboratory department of the Bihar government indicated presence of organic phosphorous in the meal of the children.