Food Sanitation in Ayurveda Part 2


Storage of the raw material in Food Sanitation

After the procurement of raw material due emphasis is given on its proper storage to protect it from contamination. Food grains and other dry substances like spices should be kept in a tight container placed well above the ground to protect it from fire, water, smoke, dust, rodents and other pests. Store should be fumigated regularly with aromatic incense sticks.

Food cooking and serving

Due importance should be given to the place where the food is cooked. Kitchen should be clean and spacious. Obedient workers accompanying the master chef should prepare the food and keep it in clean place, freshly prepared, clean and hygienic food is to be served.

In ancient time, rules for serving food were also very specific and elaborated. According to the food item vessels were chosen so that to avoid harmful contamination/reactions and also to promote hygiene.

Table-1: Specific Utensils Used According to the Food Items

Food substanceUtensil
GheeIron vessel
Liquid foods – Milk, meat soups, fruit juices, etcSilver tumbler
Solid foods, fruits, etcPlates of big leaves like plantain, palasha, etc
Food items like curd and buttermilkGold vessel
Acidic food items like khada, yushaStone vessel/ vessel of Cats eye stone
Water – boiled and cooledCopper vessel
Alcohol, syrups, waterMud/glass/spatika vessel

Dining area should be situated in a corner, beautifully decorated with aromatic flowers, clean and hygienic. Specific decorum is maintained regarding the positioning of food items relative to the consumer. As a rule liquids are kept on the left, solids on the right and food with medium consistencies are kept in the center.

To prevent the contamination with heavy metals and also to enhance the properties of food, different types of utensils are mentioned. Silver was preferred because of its antibacterial properties. Food substances that may react were served in stone vessels. It is to be noted that stainless steel was not invented during that era.

Table-2: Specific decorum of Positioning of food items relative to the consumer

LiquidsLinctusesSolid food
Meat SoupsRicePaapad
SyrupsChutneyFruits etc
MilkSoup etc 
Water etc.  

Thus food hygiene does not only deal with procuring and preparation of hygienic food free of contamination but it also deals with how the food is used by the consumer. Food helps is Swaasthya Rakshanam (protection from diseases and continual of health).

Recipe of the month – Mint chutney

Ingredients – Fresh mint leaves 1 handful, 1 small unripe mango pieces, 1 green chili, cumin seeds 1 teaspoon, asafetida 1 pinch, salt according to taste

Take all the ingredients and blend together in mixer grinder. Refreshing, tasty and tempting chutney is ready to serve. You can serve it with snacks or bread or with main course for adding flavor to the dish.