Blissful Hygienic Offering to God ( BHOG) program has been launched in three places- Maa Kali Temple at Barmunda, Saibaba Temple at Tankapani Road and Shani DevTemple at Vanivihar-- in Bhubaneswar on Pilot basis.
BHOG is an initiative put forth by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
This move is to encourage Places of Worship (PoW) to adopt and maintain Food Safety and hygiene as well as convey food safety messages through such places to the people to follow as responsible citizens.
In Odisha BHOG has been implemented on Pilot Basis and it is one of the major flagship programs of the Food Safety Commissionerate.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy Saturday directed the Housing & Urban Development and Food Safety Commissionerate to launch a special drive for creating awareness among the street food vendors and the people on food safety.
Chairing a high level meeting to discuss food safety issues here, Mr.Tripathy directed the officials to educate the food vendors about food safety techniques and make people aware not to take unsafe food.
Reviewing the food safety measures in different cities, Mr.Tripathy issued directions to examine the possibility of enforcing food safety measures through authorized outsourced agencies with delegation of necessary powers.
It was decided in the meeting that BMC would identify the most populous stretches for creation of ‘safe food streets’ in the corporation area on pilot basis.
The proposal for ‘Designated Food Safety Officers’ in five Corporation areas was also approved in the meeting, said officials.
The Chief Secretary also directed to put in place an online system for creating a data base of the oversight and enforcement activities.
Food Safety Commissioner Yamini Sarangi said that there had been a steady increase in the number of registered food business operators (FBOs) in the State over last three years.
The total number of registered FBOs has increased from 5,026 in 2016-17 to 25,822 in 2017-18 and 36,622 in the year 2018-19.
According to officials, the online registration system for FBOs has been launched from December,2016 and the payment of fees and dues as per FSS Act 2006 has also been made online.
The State Food Testing Laboratory has been recognized by Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FASSI) and mobile food testing laboratory has been provided in the State from November, 2017.
In 2018-19 a total number of 327 ‘legal samples’ have been picked and tested out of which 92 samples have been found either adulterated or misbranded against which 14 criminal and 33 civil cases have been instituted, said officials.
Besides, 1599 ‘surveillance samples’ have also been collected principally from the places of public festivals and celebrations out of which 477 samples found adulterated have been fined.
The officials said that mobile food testing laboratory has tested 1832 samples and have conducted 140 awareness and 20 training programs.
Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Principal Secretary Housing& Urban Development G Mathivathnan, Director Municipal Administration Sangramjit Nayak along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the deliberations.