Akshaya Pātra USA

Unlimited food for education

Food Quality

Akshaya Patra strives to exemplify the best in food quality to produce meals that are nutritious, safe, and of course, tasty!

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Nutrition

Central to Akshaya Patra's mission is the eradication of child malnutrition.  That is why it is important that Akshaya Patra's meals contain all the essential nutrients malnourished children need to regain their health and suceed in school.  Akshaya Patra worked closely with the Department of Food Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to design a vegetarian menu that would contain the right amount of lipids, micronutrients, calories, and proteins that growing children need for healthy development. Only when a child is healthy can they develop the cognitive abilities they need to succeed in life. 

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Taste

A school meal can make all the difference in a hungry child's life, encouraging regular school attendance and improving their health and academic performance.  But only if they eat it! Preparing fresh tasty meals is a priority at Akshaya Patra.

It starts with recognizing regional dietary preferences and tailoring our menu to meet them.  In the North where a wheat-based menu is popular, we serve whole wheat chapattis with every school meal. In the South where diets are rice-based,  Akshaya Patra serves enriched rice meals.

Our meals are prepared fresh every day and driven to schools in insulated distribution vessels and trucks.  At the end of each school day, our distribution teams return to retrieve the vessels and collect feedback on the meal from teachers and students. Changes are made to the menu based on the feedback recieved.  

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Safety

Hygiene and food safety is the highest priority in Akshaya Patra kitchens. Appropriate technological considerations have governed all phases of design to ensure the safety and hygiene of the meals prepared.  

Each kitchen has 250 check points and unannounced monthly safety audits by quality control officers that cover areas such as personal hygiene, pest control, ingredients procurement, storage, production, and vehicle hygiene practices.

All of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens meet the highest standards of safety and efficiency, and thirteen of Akshaya Patra’s kitchens have already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS).  The International Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.

To ensure quality control, numbers are assigned to all food batches so that meals can be traced back to the ingredients that were used in their preparation.  A sample of each daily meal is retained for testing in cases of reported incidents.