Project Aashirwad’, the pilot aims at standardizing the process of preparing prasad at the temple’s manufacturing unit and implement hygiene and safety practices that are in line with the FSSAI Act of 2011.
Nearly thirty crore people visit temples, mosques, churches & dargahs across India each day and most pilgrim centres have a long standing tradition of serving food or prasad. Given the quantity and scale of food being served to the masses, food safety regulator FSSAI has turned its attention to these centres.
The very famous Shree Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai has adopted a unique food safety and hygiene project, reports CNBC-TV18’s Farah Bookwala Vohra.
Upto 1,00,000 devotees visit the Shree Siddhivinayak temple each day and when they leave, they carry not just countless blessings of God, but also the Prasad with them. Devotees consume this prasad with the faith that it is sacred and pure. Therefore to keep this faith alive, the temple is ensuring that it is prepared hygienically and is free from contamination. According to the temple authorities it is not just crucial to safeguard public health but also to preserve public faith.
The FSSAI and Association of Food Scientists & Technologists of India have joined hands with Siddhivinayak Temple to pilot the first-of-its-kind initiative in India. Titled ‘Project Aashirwad’, the pilot aims at standardizing the process of preparing prasad at the temple’s manufacturing unit and implement hygiene and safety practices that are in line with the FSSAI Act of 2011.
Project Ashirwad has big plans – on its successful implementation, the FSSAI & AFSTI hope to implement it nationally at all pilgrim centers across faiths. However, the project is not free of challenges. The parties acknowledge that dealing with pilgrim centres is a sensitive matter and FSSAI practices, if flouted, cannot be dealt with by cracking the whip. Lack of awareness about safety and hygiene and in many cases, unacceptance of best practices can pose a hindrance too.