BHOG to ensure quality prasadam for devotees in AP

AP govt selected 11 major temples of the state in first phase for BHOG certification

VIJAYAWADA: AP government has brought in tasty news that devotees of 11 major temples within the state will start getting quality prasadam within a month. This is consequent on these temples being selected for possible award of Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG) certification by the New Delhi-based Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Select food handlers belonging to each of these 11 temples will be trained in best ways of procuring raw material, their storage, ways of preparation and storage of prepared products, including the prasadam. These handles will then prepare the various prasadams specific to those temples. A pre and post-audit of prasadams prepared by temples will be carried out. Only in case they fulfil all the prescribed norms, will the prasadam of these temples be recommended for BHOG certification.

The entire exercise of such certification is likely to be completed within a month.

The 11 BHOG certified temples are likely to be Bharamaramba Mallikarjuna Swamy Devasthanam, Srisailam; Kalahastisvara Swamyvari Devasthanam, Kalahastisvara; Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam, Vijayawada; Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamyvari Devasthanam, Simhachalam; Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamyvari Devasthanam, Annavaram; Swayambhu Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamyvari Devasthanam, Kanipakam; Lakshmi Tirupathamma Ammavari Devasthanam, Penuganchiprolu; Kanaka Mahalakshmi Ammavari Devasthanam, Visakhapatnam; Nettikanti Anjaneya Swamy Vari temple, Kasapuram, Anantapur; Mahandeeswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam, Mahanandi, Nandyala district; and Venkateswara Swamy Vari Devasthanam, Dwaraka Tirumala.

Endowments commissioner M. Hari Jawaharlal issued directions to these temples to comply with good manufacturing practices, hygiene and other norms at their prasadam preparation premises, apart from personal hygiene of food handlers. Executive officers of all the selected major temples have been asked to send their prasadam handlers, whether in preparation, serving, storing or distribution of prasadam, for the Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) training, so that they can get duly certified.

Food Safety and Standards department state nodal officer for BHOG certification, N. Purna Chandra Rao, said, “We are going to train four key persons involved in handling prasadam and food at each temple for four days. The training will be in procurement of raw material, preparation, storage, distribution and sale; in addition to conducting of pre and post-audit compliance. Only then will FSSAI issue BHOG certification, which will ensure that devotees get good quality prasadam and food in these temples of the state.”

Incidentally, a complaint had been made to District Consumer Commission on deficient quality of food supplied at Lord Venkateswara Temple in Eluru. Consumer Commission president D. Kodandarama Murthy had then served notice on executive officer of that temple to respond.

AP government has thus finally taken up the prasadam issue and selected 11 major temples of the state in first phase for BHOG certification. The remaining temples of the state will also get such certification in a phased manner.

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