- Religious cities of Mathura and Varanasi will be the first ones in Uttar Pradesh to implement FSSAI’s Project BHOG to ensure safe and hygienic distribution of ‘prasad’ at temples and religious establishments across the country. This project is already being implemented by Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamilnadu. Uttar Pradesh will also join the list in April 2018.
What is Project BHOG?
- Project BHOG, which is an acronym for ‘Blissful Hygienic Offering to God’, is an initiative of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- This project is one among SNF (Safe & Nutritious Food) bouquet of initiatives launched by FSSAI, a year ago.
- The BHOG was launched with an aim to ensure that the rasad/food received by devotees is safe for devouring.
- Since, around 30 crores people visit Places of Worship (PoW) daily across nation & receive rasad as blessing of God, it is necessary to ensure that it is safe for devotees.
- It was launched nationwide with the support of Association of Food Scientists & Technologist India (AFSTI), which have been involved in food safety system implementation in Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai & also Sai Prasadalya, Shirdi.
- Under the project, all the PoW that distribute Prasad,including vendors that sell Prasad in the vicinity of the PoW are henceforth required to obtain FSSAI license/ registration and they also need to follow the sanitary and hygiene practices as per Food Safety and Standards regulations. The FSSAI aims to create awareness among the PoW through Project BHOG to discourage malpractices related to food served as Prasad, langar, etc. and to ensure regulatory compliance.
- The first workshop of Project BHOG was organized in 2016 witnessing the presence of around 14 major temples to create awareness and build capacities for improvement of food handling in Places of Worship. The second workshop was held in New Delhi on 11 January 2018.