In line with the recent ban on preparation and consumption of junk food on campus canteens and mess, the Panjab University (PU) on Monday issued a circular listing the banned items which include cold drinks with artificial sweeteners, packaged deep-fried snacks including chips, French fries, hot dog, pizza, white bread and burger sans vegetables.
The circular, issued by dean students’ welfare (DSW) Emanual Nahar in line with the August 21 national advisory by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to create healthy food habits among students, also listed instant noodles as a banned item.
However, noodles made from wheat or oats, and sandwiches made with brown bread or multi-grain bread will be allowed, as per the circular.
The DSW said that they were identifying more items and will consider them in the next meeting of the committee responsible for the implementation of the ban.
Director of the University Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management (UIHTM), Prashant K Gautam, called the ban a good step on the part of the university.
“The food that is kept prepared for a long time and then deep fried later for consumption is bad for our health. Such ‘cold’ food items are ideal for bacterial growth in these weather conditions,” said Gautam, adding that anything which is deep fried, but freshly made and slow-cooked, is good to eat.
However, PU Campus Students’ Council president Kanupriya said, “Even the normal food at the student centre is like junk food as it is not of good quality. Healthy food should be provided as an alternative and it should be done in phases. Moreover, the food should be provided at a subsidised rate for students.”
Council joint secretary Vipul Atray said, “It is good that the junk food is being banned. The issue, however, is that alternatives should be provided. We had also proposed non-vegetarian food on campus as a healthy alternative.”
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