Assessment and Evaluation of Indira Canteen on Food Safety and Food Security in Urban Bengaluru.
Food security is a main cause of concern in developing and underdeveloped countries. It is a major challenge for governments to provide subsidized and safe food to deserving sections of society. Inspiration from the success of Amma canteen led to an initiative by the Karnataka government concerning the subsidized food program, Indira canteen. Food safety will determine the success or failure of the scheme; therefore, this study aims to assess the effectiveness of the canteen in terms of food safety and food security. Random sampling method was used to select 70 food handlers and 150 consumers from Bengaluru (east, west, north, south, and central). The data was collected using a pretested questionnaire and using interview cum observation technique. Results revealed that the majority (71.4%) of the food handlers have been trained for food safety before joining the job. A significant difference was observed between trained/untrained food handlers in following the food safety norms while handling the food (p<0.05). Results regarding consumers revealed that the majority (87.3%) were males and 12.7% were females. About 44% belonged to the lower middle class and 1% to the upper-middle-class. It was observed that 70% of the consumers skipped at least one meal and 65.3% restricted variety in food due to cost. About 97.3% were satisfied with the cost-wise quality of food in the canteen. Overall acceptance of food in the canteen was 94.6%. Hence it can be concluded from the study that Indira canteen is a successful and effective venture for food security by the Karnataka government that is, capable of providing subsidized and safe food to the consumers.