UDUPI: The famous Sri Mookambika Temple, Kollur in Udupi district, one of the richest temples of the state - got a quality certificate from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG) scheme - an initiative started by the Association of Food Scientists and Technologist of India (AFSTI).
This certificate has been given to the temple for offering clean and hygienic ‘prasadam’ to devotees. About 5,000 to 7,000 devotees are served the lunch at the temple daily. Auditing before issuance of this certificate was done by a team and necessary training was given to the cooking staff at the temple.
Considering various factors like hygiene, ventilation, storage and the clean water used during the preparation of the food, the certificate was accorded by FSSAI, said Dr Premanand, designated officer, FSSAI, Udupi.
Along with Kollur Temple, other famous temples like Kukke Sri Subrahmanya, Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple, Dharmasthala in DK district and Marikamba Temple, Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district also are selected under BHOG.
Dr Premanand said that devotees not just from Karnataka, but from other states and foreigners also visit the temple. All are offered lunch in the form of ‘prasadam’ free of cost. So the certification of the ‘prasadam’ is a good step as it would guarantee the quality and hygiene to the devotees, he said.
The auditing team had checked how the kitchen in the temple is designed and maintained, the flooring and other facilities before recommending certification from the FSSAI. The team had also mentioned how well the leftover items were discarded. The team had observed that the cook never used the oil twice for frying the food items.