In a shocking incident, the 'laddu prasadam' at the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada on Sunday was found to be full of worms and insects by pilgrims who received the sweet.
The Times of India reported:
Food safety officials sealed the room where the laddus were stored and sent samples to the state food laboratory for toxin analysis...Temple executive officer Surya Kumari ordered officials to destroy the 50,000 and odd laddus, which developed fungus and mold. However, food officials seized the stocks pending laboratory report. This is the biggest ever laddu stock in a temple in AP to have turned stale.
Every year, Vijayawada hosts the biggest Dasara celebrations in the state with over one lakh pilgrims visiting the temple during the festivities that began on Saturday and will go on for 10 days.
The TOI report adds that initial complaints by devotees saw a backlash by the officials, who claimed that the pilgrims were deliberately trying to tarnish the image of the temple.
However, as more complaints poured in, the temple executive officer visited the kitchen and reportedly found flies and cockroaches feasting on the laddus.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that the reflection of the flood lights on prasadam that was being prepared in an old building, attracted insects causing the damage. The temple employees, without noticing it, took the laddus to the counter along with the laddus prepared in a new building.
â€œWe now are taking preventive measures and strictly ordered for the production of laddu prasadam only in the new building," temple executive officer A Suryakumari told DC.