Blissful Hygienic Offering to God

Blissful Hygienic Offering to God
11 February 2022

Blissful Hygienic Offering to God

In India people are very particular about their religion and their respective gods and places where people worship their god is considered to be the most pure and sacred place for Indian society. The food offered to god commonly known as ‘Prasad’ is also sacred and must be prepared with complete hygiene and precautions as a large number of people are likely to consume it.

To ensure that safe and wholesome food is being served as Prasad and the devotees receive just the blessings of god and not any impurity or disease The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India has initiated a scheme known as “Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG), this scheme is a part of Eat Right India initiative and under this scheme places of worship where Prasad is prepared are encouraged to adopt and maintain food safety and hygiene practices while the Prasad is being prepared. Till now 10 states have being engaged in it, 174 places of worship are certified and 7 are still under the process.

Objective behind the project

The basic objective of BHOG scheme was to ensure that the basic food safety is being maintained by food handlers while preparing food at gurudwaras, temples, mosques and other religious institutions where food is prepared, food handlers would be given basic food safety training under this programme. This scheme also makes it mandatory for stalls and vendors selling Prasad in and around the premises of temple to obtain the BHOG Certificate from FSSAI.

Legal requirement for BHOG certificate

Under section 3(1) (n) of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 “Food Business” means any such undertaking whether profit or non-profit and whether public or private, if they carry out any such activities that are related to any stage of manufacturing, packaging, storage, transportation, etc. are food businesses thus places of worship will also be considered as food business operator as they serve Prasad/ langar.
‘The applicability of the act would not affect despite the fact the food is purchased or distributed free of cost at the place of worship.’

Guidelines regarding maintenance of place where food is prepared

• Basic care must be ensured to facilitate proper working of activities like receiving the raw materials to prepare food, storing, preparation, production and other food preparation related services.

• The movements or flow of raw materials must be only in One Direction so that there is no criss-cross movements otherwise it will increase Cross contamination of the final product

• Proper cleaning of the premises where food is prepared must be maintained so that there is neither any potential source of contamination nor any source for entry of any pests or insects.

• Availability of separate and designed areas for storing the raw materials and the pact finished product must be ensured.

• The Ceilings and the floors of the room where the product is kept must be clean properly and be in good condition so that there is least accumulation of Dirt, spider web or undesirable mould growth.