Food regulator FSSAI has expanded its programme for training officials of renowned temples like Iskcon and Somnath temple to ensure the 'prasad' served to devotees is safe and hygienic. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which launched a programme called BHOG in 2016, organised a workshop in the national capital today which was attended by representatives of all major temples including Chintapurni Shakti Peeth, Meenakshi temple and Somnath temple. It also released a guidance manual to facilitate voluntary implementation of food safety at places of worship. "Since around 30 crore people visit place of worship (PoW) daily across nation and receive prasad as blessing of God, it is necessary to ensure that it is safe for devotees," the FSSAI said in a statement. The project Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG) was launched with an aim to ensure that the prasad/food received by devotees is safe for consumption. The project was launched nationwide with the support of Association of Food Scientists and Technologist India (AFSTI), which has been involved in food safety system implementation at Mumbai's Siddhivinayak Temple and Shirdi's Sai Prasadalya. The first workshop of BHOG was organised in 2016 and was attended by 14 major temples to create awareness and build capacities for improvement of food handling in places of worship. "All temples showed overwhelming interest in adopting this Project BHOG in their respective place of worship, notably Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra," the statement said. In Tamil Nadu, the project was implemented in 20 major temples, training around 300 food handlers, while Maharashtra conducted training programme for more than 3,500 food handlers from 236 places of worship.
Similar training was also held in Hanuman Mandir, New Delhi. Continuing its efforts, the FSSAI today organised the second workshop and reviewed the progress of the states in implementing the project. FSSAI also said the temples should use fortified staples such as ghee, oil, rice, flour and milk while preparing prasad/langar to make it more wholesome.
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