No ‘halal’ marking on jaggery, commissioner tells High Court

‘All raw materials for prasadam checked in labs’

The Food Safety Commissioner on Wednesday informed the Kerala High Court that no marking of ‘halal’ was found on the packets of jaggery bought in 2021 and kept at the Sannidhanam for preparing appams and aravanas at Sabarimala.

In a report filed as directed by the court, the Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety, Pathanamthitta, said the food processing system during the Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival was under the surveillance of the Food Safety Department.

In fact, a quality checking laboratory was functioning at Pamba and Sannidhanam. All the raw materials for aravana and appam preparation were checked at the laboratory when the consignment reached Pamba. They would be released, only after confirming the standard of each and every raw material.

The report said the standard of jaggery stock kept at the Sannidhanam had been confirmed by the laboratory. As per the label declaration on the packets of jaggery, they were manufactured and packed by a company in Maharastra in 2021 having FSSAI licence. There was no label found as ‘halal’ or such indication in the jaggery stocks.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) had last time submitted that a few packets of jaggery supplied by a company in Maharashtra during 2019 at Sabarimala had the marking of ‘halal’ on them as the company was exporting jaggery to Arab countries.

The TDB had made the submission in response to a writ petition alleging that jaggery with ‘halal’ marking was being used at Sabarimala for the preparation of prasdams. The petition had also sought a directive to ensure that materials of high quality were used at Sabarimala temple.

The TDB counsel submitted on Wednesday that the jaggery supplied for the period 2020-2021 would alone be used for making appams and aravanas.

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