FSSAI Introduces Project BHOG for safe prasad at PoWs


With a view to ensuring that devotees at places of worship (PoWs) are served safe prasad, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has ordered that Project BHOG, an initiative to encourage PoWs to adopt and maintain food safety and hygiene, be rolled out pan-India. 


As per the order, the training of food handlers and vendors, both in and around the premises of PoWs, is an integral part of Project BHOG, which stands for Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG).


Through this initiative, the country’s apex food regulator aims to create awareness among PoWs to curb malpractices related to the food served and ensure proper regulatory compliance. 


It is binding upon not only the vendors at every PoW where prasad is distributed, but also upon those in the vicinity of a POW who are engaged in the distribution of such offerings, to obtain a license from FSSAI, or register their establishments, and to adhere to the sanitary and hygiene practices laid down in the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011. 


With the help of trainers from the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India [AFST(I)] and the backing of state governments, a series of training programmes has been conducted under Project BHOG in two states, namely Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. 


The order, which stipulated that a nodal officer be nominated for the purpose, stated that in order to improve the level of food safety and hygiene in PoW pan-India, FSSAI recently organised a workshop, which was attended by as many as 66 delegates representing major PoWs from across India, state food and drug administrations (FDAs) and auditing agencies.


About 3,500 people who are associated with the regulation and distribution of prasad in 300 temples across the state are being trained so far.


FSSAI has prepared detailed documentation for the implementation of Project BHOG, and the same has been uploaded on the regulator’s website.


Recently, over 30 temples participated in the BHOG workshop at FSSAI, Delhi.


 Many states are coming forward now, and with the help of the AFST(I) team and other scientists, Project BHOG is being implemented successfully. 


In addition to imparting training, FSSAI has issued a guidance document on maintaining food safety and hygiene in places of worship to roll out Project BHOG in their premises.


The document provides useful tips, dos and don’ts, methods and practices that should be followed to ensure safe and hygienic prasad.

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