A state with many historically significant temples and lakhs of devotees visiting them on a daily basis, the ‘prasadam’ that is served at the temples is a significant part of worship. PTI on Friday has reported that as many as 47 major temples in Tamil Nadu run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department will get Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certification for their ‘prasadam,’ according to an official.
Prasadam is a religious offering prepared at the temple kitchens and consumed by devotees after offering their prayers. An integral part of religious festivities and everyday worship, the prasadam is considered sacred among devotees.
The certification that is aimed at ensuring quality and bringing in standardization, began with the famed ‘panchamirtham’, the prasadam offered at Sri Palani Murugan temple’s (Dhandayuthapaniswamy temple) in Dindigul district.
Featuring FSSAI license number
“Palani Murugan temple was our pilot project. We have initiated the process of getting FSSAI certification in other 46 temples as well,” PTI reported the official as saying. The Murugan temple’s panchamirtham prasadam now features an FSSAI licence number, price, weight and best before date.
“Quality assurance is our priority… incidents of people taking ill after consuming prasadam in some private temples drew our attention and we decided to go in for licensing,” the official said in response to the reason behind these initiatives.
It is to be noted that two women died and over 30 people took ill after consuming prasadam provided by a privately administered temple at Mettupalayam near Coimbatore, in the month of April this year.
Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple, Rameswaram Sri Ramanathaswamy temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple and Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswara temple are among the major shrines of Tamil Nadu, where this initiative might soon be put into place.