Project Bhog to encourage food safety & hygiene in preparation of ‘prasad’.
New Delhi: Ten gurdwaras in the national capital, including the historical Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, have implemented the food safety and hygiene standards set by food regulator FSSAI.
“The stricter set of food safety standards and hygiene have been put in place in all the 10 gurdwaras where around one lakh devotees partake langar,” Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh said.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has initiated Project Bhog (Blissful Hygienic Offering to God) to encourage all places of worship in the country to adopt and maintain food safety and hygiene in the preparation of “prasad”. The project was among the Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) bouquet of initiatives launched by the country’s apex food regulator last year.
Mr Singh said: “DSGMC has surpassed the stringent targets set by Union ministry of health under FSSAI’s project “Bhog” to ensure that Sikh Sangat (visiting devotees) are served safe, hygienic and nutritious prasad at all the 10 historic historic gurdwaras managed by it in national capital.”
Around one lakh devotees partake prasad (Guru Ka Langar) in these gurdwaras on week days and the number rises more than five lakhs on weekend and festive occasions, he said.
The management committee has set up food safety and hygiene standards for the community kitchens preparing langar and prasad with rules related with procurement of ingredients like ghee, vegetables, milk and grains.
“Desi ghee and edible oils purchased by the committee for use in Langar are standardised and tested for purity in government labs. Payment to suppliers is made only after the lab reports are obtained,” Mr Singh said.
He said, vegetables are directly procured from Azadpur Mandi to ensure freshness and nutritional contents, while fortified staple items rice, flour and milk are procured to make prasad nutritious and wholesome.
Reverse osmosis (RO) plants have been set up to provide clean water for cooking to prevent contamination of food. Apart from materials used, the training and adoption of hygienic practices by the food handlers is being closely monitored, Mr Singh said.