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What is FSSAI Guidelines for Labeling & Packaging?

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: May 12, 2017 | Category: FSSAI Food License

FSSAI Labeling

Before the product is introduced in the market, it is required to get the FSSAI product approval. The FSSAI product approval is required for products that contain additives or ingredients which are not according to the standards prescribed by the Food Safety and Standard Act and Regulation. FSSAI Labeling requirement norms have been made keeping in mind of India as one of the biggest food markets in the world and still in India food safety is a major concern. Therefore the government focuses on the delivery of safe and wholesome food to consumers by setting up strict and unified standards.

Why is the FSSAI Department focusing on the better and safe packing of food products in India?

With the growing concern over the health risks that are involved in the consumption of packaged food, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is now stringent on the regulatory norms related to labeling requirements.

Food labeling serves as a means of communication that is used to inform the consumers about the pre-packaged food properties. All pre-packed food needs to comply with the packaging and labeling regulations. As per FSSAI labeling guidelines, a product has to be properly labeled with all essential information before it is ready for sale in the market. The labeling includes printed or graphic content information about the packaged food product.

For the consumer, the label information is imperative as they evaluate the product based on the content of information like the ingredients, weight, price, expiration date, nutritional value, etc. before purchasing a product. The labeling conveys the consumer’s information about the manufacturer, packer, distributor, and seller. Also, for the manufacturer, it is a medium through which they can notify the customers about the quality and the vital aspects of their food product. Today the consumer, before purchasing the packaged food product, reviews the ingredients composition, nutritional value, expiration, and other contents on the label. Therefore, it is vital for the FBO to provide relevant information on the packed food product for the consumers. Food business operators in India need to follow the minute details of the FSSAI labeling regulations.

As per food laws, every packaged food has to be labeled with vital information and should abide by the labeling and packaging laws in the country. In India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is the main food regulatory body.

All food operators dealing with any kind of packed food must abide by the rules and fulfill all the requirements before applying for FSSAI license The labeling must be done as per the regulations and there must not be any misleading, false or deceptive description. Also, the Food Business Operator (FBO) needs to be registered with FSSAI and acquire the relevant licenses for the business. On packaged food, the FBO must display the FSSAI logo and the content must be printed or written clearly.

What is the FSSAI Labeling Requirement under FSSAI Act?

  • Every pre-packaged food must carry a label containing information as required.
  • The particulars of declaration and information on the label must be in English or Hindi in Devanagari script.
  • However, the use of any other languages is not restricted in addition to the languages that are mentioned in the regulation.
  • The pre-packaged food shall not be present or describe any content or any label or labeling manner that is false or deceptive or is likely to generate an erroneous impression with reference to its character in any respect.
  • The packed food label must be applied in a manner that it does not easily get separated from the container.
  • The contents of the packed food must be very clear, indelible, prominent and easily readable by the consumer.
  • If the container is covered by a wrapper, then the wrapper must have vital information or label describing the product.

According to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, every packaged food needs to carry and be labeled with the information mentioned below:

  • Name of the Food- Trade Name
  • List of Ingredients- must be explained in an appropriate title with their composition by volume or weight
  • Nutritional information- the nutritional facts per 100gm or 100ml must be provided along with energy value in kcal, amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals, vitamins, etc.,
  • Declaration of Non-Vegetarian or Vegetarian
  • Information regarding food additives
  • Addition of colors and flavors
  • Net quantity in the packed food by weight, volume or number
  • Name and complete address of the manufacturer
  • A lot, Cod,  and Batch number details
  • Date of manufacture or packing
  • Best before and use by date in Date/Month/Year format
  • Country of origin for imported food
  • Instructions for use where applicable shall be included in the label if necessary

The Food Business Operators manufacturing the packaged food must ensure that all food products are packed and labeled in accordance with FSSAI regulations. The container must include all relevant information that is vital for consumer notice. It is the accountability of the Food Business Operator (FBO) to provide accurate information on the product label to the consumers. The FBOs must keep in mind that if the regulations of labeling are not fulfilled adequately, then they are liable for heavy penalties. Proper Packaging is mandatory for Food license.

If the Food Business Operator is not aware of the regulations then they can easily get the detailed information related to the FSSAI labeling guideline on the FSSAI website. However, to ensure that the FBO fulfills all the requisites as per the regulation, it is wise to take the advice of a professional. There are many professional consultants that offer their services for getting FSSAI product approval and provide guidance in fulfilling all the requirements needed for product labeling.

A consultant will explain the entire process thoroughly and guide the FBO step by step. They help in arranging and preparing all the vital documentation that is required for the product approval and product labeling. They are well versed in the regulations and provisions and provide complete label reviews for compliance with the FSSAI, enabling them to safeguard against any penalties and queries. So fulfill the mandatory regulations of FSSAI, take the help of professional and experienced consultants.

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Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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