Friday, June 09, 2017

FSSAI reminds TTD about licence for ‘laddu’

The Hindu: Bangalore: Friday, June 09, 2017.
An RTI query has revealed that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) is yet to respond to letters sent a year ago by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) asking why they had not taken a food licence or allowed authorities to inspect their kitchen.
Subsequently, the FSSAI sent two reminders on June 1, 2016 and on March 30 this year. After not getting any response, the FSSAI has asked the TDD to reply to its queries by June 15.
According to the FSSAI, TTD manufactures more than 20 tonnes of laddus per day, which are handed over to devotees as prasadam. As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, this is considered a food business for which a licence should be obtained.
M. Kannan, Deputy Director, Central Licensing Authority, FSSAI, Southern Regional Deputy Director, who sent the letter on May 18 seeking a response from the TTD, said, “They are not cooperating with us despite sending several reminders. We cannot enter their premises by force. If they do not reply by June 15, we will take advice from the central office for necessary action.”
The letter states that obtaining a licence is mandatory. The premises where the prasadam is prepared should be inspected by FSSAI officials as per instruction from the Regulatory Compliance Division wing, New Delhi.
“Being a pilgrimage institution, this office is intending to inspect the premises at a convenient date, with the co-operation of the organisation. Hence, the TTD is requested to inform the date and time for inspection as early as possible,” says the letter.
T. Narasimhamurthy, a resident of Bengaluru who had filed an RTI in this regard, wants the temple, one of the biggest pilgrim centres in the world, to comply with the law of the land. “The TTD should set an example for others. Temples like Siddhi Vinayak in Mumbai and that of Sai Baba in Shirdi have taken a licence,” he said.