Published on: April 22, 2024

Press Release

The Veyangoda warehouse complex has only issued rice stocks deemed suitable for human consumption by the expert committee appointed by the Gampaha Divisional Health Services Director for distribution in the school meal program.

The committee has provided relevant recommendations relying on analytical reports from the Government Analyst’s Department and the Medical Research Institute. (Annexure 01)

To ensure compliance, all Provincial Chief Secretaries are instructed in writing to mobilize a team that represents the health sector to conduct a thorough re-inspection and retrieval of the rice stock confirmed safe for consumption by multiple institutions from the Veyangoda warehouse complex. Additionally, they are tasked with strategizing to utilize this rice stock before May 01. (Annexure 02)

As per protocol, prior to distributing the rice stock from the central warehouse to the respective provinces, it is mandatory for the senior officer from the Provincial Department of Education and a Public Health Inspector (PHI) representing the province to ensure its suitability for human consumption. Only after their official confirmation through signature, the rice stocks are released to the respective provinces. (Annexure 03)

To enhance health safety and food quality for schoolchildren, the directions further emphasize the necessity for the rice supplied by the World Food Program to undergo inspection by the Public Health Inspector and a representative of the School Nutrition Committee before being distributed to school cooks. (Annexure 04)

Compliant with international food packaging quality standards, this batch of rice is advised to be utilized before May 31. (Annexure 05)

As the rice has been received as a grant, the packaging is labelled “Not for Sale.” This label does not indicate that the rice is unsuitable for consumption.

Following a comprehensive inspection representing diverse health sector considerations, the World Food Program has confirmed its suitability.
(All relevant annexures have been attached)

Final Document – Sinhala


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