Delhi food safety department has recently issued 'BHOG' certificates to Akshardham Temple and Sai Baba temple in Najafgarh after a training and audit exercise
Delhi government is urging religious places in the national capital to procure FSSAI's 'BHOG' certification for their 'prasad' and 'langar' from the food safety department. The certification establishes quality and hygiene of the food being served to devotees, especially in the light of Covid-19 pandemic.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently launched the Project BHOG (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God) initiative to encourage religious places to adopt and maintain best practices in preparing and handling of 'prasad' and other food items within their premises.
Delhi food safety department has recently issued 'BHOG' certificates to Akshardham Temple and Sai Baba temple in Najafgarh after a training and audit exercise, informed city's Food Safety commissioner Neha Bansal.
"We are in touch with several religious places like temples and gurudwaras in the city, including ISKCON Temple in East of Kailash, for their participation in the project and to ensure the best quality of prasad and hygiene practices there," Bansal said.
Officials from the food safety department have been meeting people in managements of religious places to encourage them to obtain 'BHOG' certificates and get the food safety registration and licence.
"It's basically an awareness initiative in which we encourage management of religious places to adopt best practices of preparing Prasad and food and its handling by the cooks and workers. The food safety registration and licence serve as a mark of quality," Saurabh Sharma, the designated officer of the department, told news agency PTI.
The department identifies religious places and then undertakes the 'BHOG' certification process after discussion with its management, Sharma added.
As part of the certification process, the cooks and food handlers at identified religious places undergo an one-day training with FSSAI-impanelled trainers about various aspects of maintaining hygiene while manufacturing and handling food items and 'prasad'. The training module includes instructions regarding general cleanliness, use of aprons and gloves by cooks and food handlers, and regular medical examination of the workers.
After the training, the religious place is thoroughly vetted for any shortcomings, and required adjustments are suggested. Finally, an audit is carried out after which the 'BHOG' certificate is issued.
The department is also urging religious places to opt for 'BHOG' certification due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has brought matters of hygiene and cleanliness into focus.
(With PTI inputs)
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