New Delhi: Community kitchens (langars) in 10 major Delhi gurdwaras have implemented the food safety and hygiene standards set by food regulator FSSAI to make healthy food accessible to everyone.
Delhi’s gurdwaras operate on principles rooted in bringing people together and advocating for health through nutritional food by closing the gap on hunger every day, said Manjit Singh G.K., President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), on Sunday.
He said DSGMC had cleared the stringent targets set by the Health Ministry under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) project BHOG (Blissful and Hygienic Offering to God) to ensure that visiting devotees were served safe, hygienic and nutritious langar at all historic Gurudwaras managed by it in the national capital.
FSSAI in 2016 had launched project BHOG with an aim to ensure all places of worship in the country adopt and maintain that the ‘prasad’ received by devotees is safe for consumption.
“Around one lakh devotees partake langar in all 10 gurdwaras here on week days. The number of devotees touches mark of more than five lakh on weekends and festival seasons like Holi, Baishakhi and Gurpurb,” Singh said.
“Langar in gurdwaras are promoting healthy eating by providing nutritious food through distribution of sacred ‘prasad’ which consists of full diet, with chapatis, ‘dal’, ‘sabzi’ and ‘kheer’,” the DSGMC statement read.
Singh said the management committee had set up the food safety standards and hygiene maintenance of the gurdwara kitchens preparing langar and ‘prasad’ which is distributed free among devotees and general public.
He said ‘desi ghee’ and edible oils purchased by the committee for use in langar were standardised and tested for purity in government laboratories before using to cook to ensure food safety standards and hygiene maintenance.
Reverse osmosis (RO) plants have been set up to provide clean water for cooking to prevent contamination of food.
All employees engaged in langar kitchen were required to bear yellow aprons, gloves and head covered with turban, it stated, adding that langar premises were cleaned twice a day to ensure cleanliness and hygienic standards.
Workshops and training sessions were being organised for ‘prasad’ handlers and vendors in Gurudwaras to sensitise them about the need for food safety regulations, health and hygiene.