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Food Safety and Standards Rules in India

Ashish M. Shaji

| Updated: Aug 04, 2017 | Category: FSSAI Food License

Food Safety and Standards Rules

“Food Safety” means assurance that food is acceptable for human consumption; it is safety between food process starting from Industry, Market, to Consumers. It involves maintaining the food quality from the preparation to its final consumption.

Consumption of Degraded quality of Food can be the cause of disease i.e. food poisoning. Considering the importance of food safety, it was considered necessary to enact the standards and rules for food. FSSAI License is mandatory for all type of food business according to the Food Safety and Standards Rules and Act.

Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 has established the laws relating to food and their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import and also established the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI[1]). The Act has given the powers to FSSAI to lay down food safety standards, guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing, to lay down the procedure for quality control, to provide the methods of sampling and analysis, to conduct the survey of enforcement and administration of the Act, to provide technical support and scientific advice to CG and SG for the policy and rules framing.

The standards set by FSSAI are based on scientific research. FSSAI certifies FBOs that their activities produce food safe for consumption by humans. This is known as FSSAI Registration or Food License.

Food Safety and Standards Rules

Food Authority shall confirm the following for every article of Food:

Food Safety and Standards Rules
  • Any food additive or processing aid should be in accordance with the Act and regulations.
  • The quantity of any contaminant, naturally occurring toxic substances or toxins or hormone or heavy metals shall be as specified by regulations. It shall not exceed the permitted limit.
  • The Food Article shall not contain insecticides or pesticides.
  • The food should be marked and labelled as specified by regulations.
  • No person can manufacture, distribute, sell or import novel food, genetically modified food article, functional foods, organic foods, proprietary foods and such other food articles restricted or not matching with the standards mentioned under the regulations. This list keeps on updating by the Central Government.

The Food Authority and the State Food Safety Authorities are required to monitor the system control. The commissioner appointed by the State government is responsible for the effective implementation of food safety and standards.

Licensing of Food Business

A person who wants to start any food business should have a license except petty manufacturer, petty retailer or any tiny food business operator. The Person has to file an application with the Designated Officer. Further, the officer may grant the license on the satisfaction of the conditions mentioned. If the Officer neither issue nor reject license in two months then he can start the business after the expiry of such period.

A single license is issued by the Authority for single premises. If the food is stored, manufactured and sold at different premises then separate license is required for each premise.

If Officer rejects the application for grant of license then appeal can be filed to Commissioner of Food Safety.

There are mainly three types of FSSAI Registration/License:

The grant of these licenses depends upon the turnover of the food business operator.  

Food Safety and Standards Rules: E-Commerce Food Business Operator (FBO)

E-Commerce FBO i.e. entity providing services to the seller, manufacturer, brand owner, restaurant for listing, Seller, brand owner, vendors who display or offer their food products, are required to obtain a license from the Authority. All E-commerce FBO shall confirm food safety and basic hygiene as mentioned in the Act. All consumer complaints should be immediately resolved. Any non-compliance with the FSS Act will amount to the delisting of E-Commerce FBO.

Food Safety and Standards Rules: Offences and Penalties

Any FBO who render food article which is injurious to health and is non-complied of safety norms specified by the Act, shall be liable for heavy penalties. Here we shall take a look at some of the penalties prescribed under FSSAI.

OFFENCEPENALTY
Manufacturing, storing, selling or distributing any misbranded foodUpto 3 lakh rupees fine
  Manufacturing, distributing, storing or importing any food sub standard in nature  Upto 5 lakh rupees fine
  Running food business without FSSAI License  Imprisonment for six months and Upto 5 lakh rupees fine
  Selling food without meeting the buyer’s demand for quality    Upto 5 lakh rupees fine
  Selling, storing, distributing or importing unsafe food articles  Imprisonment ranging from six months to seven years, depends upon case to case and with fine.

Conclusion

Food safety and standards rules are required to be complied by all those who deal with food articles. The authority has given due importance to this as it concerns with the health and safety of humans. In case you need more information on FSSAI, go through our blogs.

Read our article: Implications of Non Compliance with the Provisions of FSSAI

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Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on criminal and corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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