Holy offerings to conform to safety standards soon

All religions expected to participate

Freestyle

News - India & You

August 1, 2016

/ By / New Delhi



Holy offerings are often freely distributed and commercially sold by religious institutions in India. Now they will have to confirm to the high safety and hygiene standards set by  Food Safety Standards Authority of India.

Every day big temples, gurdwaras, mosques and churches distribute and sell holy offering to millions of devotees.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was established in 2006 by an act of Parliament.

To ensure high standards of safety and hygiene, the FSSAI is planning to engage with 40 big religious institutions in India by conducting a workshop soon.

Some of them include Golden Temple, Gurdwaras Saheb Nanded and Patna Saheb; all four dhams (pilgrimage sites) of Hindu religion Badrinath, Dwarkadheesh, Rameshwaram and Jagannath Puri; Siddhivinayak, Balaji, Shirdi and Akshardham temples. In the category of mosques, Dargah Ajmer Sharif, Nizamuddin, Haji Ali and Kashmir’s Hazratbal are to be invited.

Strategy to Improve Sanitation

The need for such a workshop emerged as thousands of people visit places of worship, which mostly have large kitchens. These could pose a potential health hazard to pilgrims.

Sensitisation efforts include a three-pronged strategy of engaging the managements of shrines, to help them implement food safety management systems and distribution of a draft safety manual.

According to India’s food safety regulator, about 10 pc of people in India are affected by the food and prasad served at religious places, thereby raising concerns about the food.

The workshop follows a successful experiment on the implementation of food safety systems in the kitchens of Shirdi and Siddhivinayak temples in Maharashtra. The exercise was conducted by All India Food Technologists Association, which will partner with the FSSAI to take the exercise forward by piloting the same experiment in 100 places of worship.

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