Food Poisoning: Even Gods Are Worried

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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Gods will no longer get piping hot prasadams first, but the Lords are happy.

Even Gods are worried about food poisoning. Not that God would end up with an upset tummy, but the Good Lord is worried about the health of devotees.

In temples across India, piping hot prasadams (food offerings) are first served to gods. It is said that Gods love the aroma coming out of the hot prasadams. But this will change soon, at least in Tamil Nadu.

In a new move pioneered in Tamil Nadu, all foods offered to Gods will first go to officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It is only after they validate the safety, quality and quantity will the prasadams be offered to the Gods.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of IndiaSacred offerings made to the deities, such as payasam, laddus etc will get third party validation of their safety and quality in the form of certification by the FSSAI.

And in another new move, 47 major temples in Tamil Nadu plan to sell prasadams in food grade containers that will have ‘best before’ dates.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of IndiaThe first move was made at Sri Dandayudhapani Temple in Palani which has gone in for licensing of its famous Panchamirtham (a semi-solid mix of five items). This prasadam will now comes packed in containers, along with labelling that depicts the ingredients, weight, price, FSSAI licence number, and other details stipulated by the Food Safety Department (FSD), The Hindu quoted an official from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of IndiaThe HR and CE Department has directed temples that sell prasadams over the counter to compulsorily go in for licensing from the FSD, which will test samples to provide a ‘best before’ date. There would also be regular inspections from the FSD to ensure quality and quantity in the prasadams being sold.