SP Services
FSSAI Food License

FSSAI Guidelines amid Bird Flu Scare

FSSAI Guidelines amid Bird Flu Scare

The food safety regulator FSSAI has urged consumers not to panic and ensure proper handling and cooking of poultry meat as it issued a detailed set of guidelines amid bird flu scare. In this article, we shall take a look at the FSSAI guidelines and advisory FSSAI has come up with.

Bird Flu Scare in India

India has confirmed bird flu outbreak in poultry birds in six states, including Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab. Avian influenza or bird flu is an infection caused by avian influenza viruses. It occurs naturally among birds. Bird flu is highly contagious in birds and can make some domesticated birds very sick and can even kill them.

Most strains of this virus are mainly found in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of the infected birds. The highly pathogenic virus spread to virtually all parts of an infected bird, including meat. With proper cooking, viruses present inside the meat and egg can be inactivated.

It is advised that poultry meat and eggs should not be consumed raw or partially cooked, especially from the areas with outbreak in poultry. There has been no evidence that indicates that someone became infected after consuming properly cooked poultry or poultry products.

Who is FSSAI, and what are the FSSAI guidelines issued on bird flu scare?

 FSSAI stands for Food Safety Standards and Authority of India. It has been established under the Food and Safety Standards Act of 2006[1]. This organization is responsible for laying down standards for food articles, and it also regulates the functioning of food business operators in India. It also registers and licenses FBOs. It may be noted that an FSSAI license is needed for FBOs to run their business.

FSSAI guidelines have been laid down with respect to the following-

FSSAI guidelines
  • Precautions to be taken at retail meat shops;
  • Precautions to be taken by Consumers;
  • Precautions during handling and cooking of poultry meat; and
  • Precautions during handling and cooking of table eggs.

Let’s now look at each of them one by one.

Precautions to be taken at retail meat shops-

  • FSSAI has advised not to bring any live or slaughtered/dead poultry birds at the retail shops from the areas where there is a bird flu scare or outbreak and not to allow it to enter in the food chain.
  • As per FSSAI guidelines, people who handle live poultry have been advised to take special precautions. They must wear gloves, PPE, and masks while handling birds.
  • Those who handle raw meat are required to wear gloves, masks and also wash their hands with soap and water before and after handling raw poultry and eggs. Also, they are advised to avoid bird droppings.
  • Wash and disinfect areas and surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with the raw meat. 
  • The knives and cutting boards used has to be cleaned and sanitized between cutting/slaughtering two birds.
  • All the waste should be disposed of properly.

Precautions to be taken by Consumers-

  • Consumers have been advised to refrain from purchasing eggs/poultry meat sourced from avian influenza infected areas.
  • As per FSSAI guidelines, People are advised to avoid going to open markets that sell poultry in the areas where there is a bird flu scare or outbreak as they are the focal point of spread.
  • Those who work closely with live infected poultry have a high risk of getting infected.
  • The cases of the spread of the virus have also been linked to the slaughter of infected birds and handling of dead birds before cooking.
  • Cases of human to human transmission of this virus is rare unless one works close to the infected birds.
  • As per the recommendation of the Food and Agriculture Organization, one of the best ways of minimizing the infection risk is by keeping away from birds from the food chain. It includes the procurement of products from genuine and trusted sources.
  • WHO, in its past advisory, has also asked people to practice safe and hygienic practices before they procure or cook any produce and ensure to source ingredients from trusted sources.

Precautions during handling and cooking of poultry meat and Precautions during handling and cooking of table eggs-

  • As per World Health Organization, there is no epidemiological data that suggest that the disease transmits to humans through cooked food.
  • The poultry products may be prepared and consumed without fear if precautions are taken.
  • Follow good hygienic practices.
  • Use gloves and masks while handling raw eggs and preparation of poultry meat products.
  • Wash hands with good soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds before and after cooking.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that came up in contact with raw egg products or raw meat.
  • Do not wash chicken or egg in running water as it can cause water splashing and spread droplets, thus contaminating the surroundings.
  • The virus is destroyed at higher temperature. Proper cooking at 74 degrees Celsius or above can inactivate the virus.

FSSAI Guidelines- Do’s and Don’ts

FSSAI has suggested certain Do’s and Don’ts with respect to the Bird flu outbreak.  These Do’s and Don’ts as part of the FSSAI guidelines are as follows:

  • Don’t eat half boiled eggs;
  • Don’t eat undercooked chicken;
  • Don’t touch dead birds with bare hands;
  • Don’t keep raw meat in open;
  • Avoid direct contact with birds in the bird flu infected areas;
  • No direct contact with raw meat;
  • Frequently wash your hands;
  • Maintain cleanliness of your surroundings;
  • Eat chicken, eggs, and such products after cooking;
  • Use mask and gloves when handling raw chicken.


There is no need to press the panic button for businesses and consumers associated with the poultry business. FSSAI guidelines have cleared the air on how to deal with this situation. Therefore every related person is advised to strictly adhere to the guidelines of FSSAI so as to prevent further outbreak. You can go through the FSSAI notification attached with this article.

Read our article:What is FSSAI Guidelines for Food Handlers?


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 corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

Business Plan Consultant

Trending Posted

Startup CFO

Our Awards Our Awards

Top 100 Companies in Asia - Red Herring
Top 100 Companies in Asia - Red Herring

Red Herring Top 100 Asia enlists outstanding entrepreneurs and promising companies. It selects the award winners from approximately 2000 privately financed companies each year in the Asia. Since 1996, Red Herring has kept tabs on these up-and-comers. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Google, Facebook, Kakao, Alibaba, Twitter, Rakuten, Salesforce.com, Xiaomi and YouTube would change the way we live and work.

Top 25 in India - Consultants Review

Researchers have found out that organization using new technologies in their accounting and tax have better productivity as compared to those using the traditional methods. Complying with the recent technological trends in the accounting industry, Enterslice was formed to focus on the emerging start up companies and bring innovation in their traditional Chartered Accountants & Legal profession services, disrupt traditional Chartered Accountants practice mechanism & Lawyers.

Top 25 in India - Consultants Review

In the news