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Get hygiene certificate, food safety dept.tells Samayapuram, Srirangam temples

It is keen to implement the concept to maintain quality of food

March 04, 2020 11:55 am | Updated 11:56 am IST - TIRUCHI

Devotees being served food under the annadhanam scheme at Nachiyar temple at Woraiyur in Tiruchi.

Devotees being served food under the annadhanam scheme at Nachiyar temple at Woraiyur in Tiruchi.

In order to ensure the quality of food served to devotees and offering to deities, the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department has asked the administrations of Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam and Mariamman Temple in Samayapuram to get Blissful Hygiene Offering to God (BHOG) certificates issued by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

While the department is keen on implementing the concept in all Hindu Religious and Charitable Temples, where an annadhanam scheme is in place, it has chosen Ranganathaswamy and Mariamman temples initially in Tiruchi district.

While Ranganathaswamy temple offers annadhanam to devotees from 8 a.m. to 10 p,m, Mariamman temple runs the annadhanam scheme for a limited time during the day.

R. Chithra, Designated Officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, Tiruchi, told The Hindu that both temples had taken a lead role in providing annadhanam to hundreds of devotees, who visit the temples in large numbers

. Irrespective of the economic background and age groups, the devotees receive prasadam after it is offered to the deities, and take part in the common feast ( annadhanam ) arranged in the temples.

Hence, as a precautionary measure and to maintain a high level of hygiene, the temple administrations have been asked to get BHOG certificates through the department.

Prior to issuing the certificates, the department will conduct a food safety audit in the kitchens of the temples to test the quality of water, oil and other ingredients.

A third party agency will be involved in the process. Besides checking the quality of ingredients used to prepare the food items, the infrastructure for cooking willalso be checked.

Upon completion of the process the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department will issue certificates to the temples. The certificates, besides ensuring quality of food, will also enable the temples to set the standard for other temples to follow the “eat right” principles .

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