Birgunj, February 21
The government of Nepal has set new standards for the production of cereal-based complementary food for infants and young children, which stakeholders claim will be instrumental in uplifting the country’s nutrition standard.
Mohan Krishna Shrestha, the spokesperson for the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, says the set of standards was published in the official gazette last week and will come into implementation after six months.
Earlier, the cabinet endorsed the document on December 18, 2022.
The new rule incorporates provisions for the manufacturing, processing, packaging, handling, storage and transport of complementary food for infants and young children, considering the issues of hygiene, consumer information and quality.
The department developed the standards with the technical support of Helen Keller International, an international anti-malnutrition NGO.
The NGO’s infant food evaluation and research officer Babita Adhikari says the implementation of new standards will effectively stop various malpractices that were harming the health of infants above six months of age.
“Now, if any complementary food for infants and young children have been found breaching the standards, they can be booked for legal action.”