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Archive for April 2013

HC suggests framing separate food safety rules for eateries

The Bombay High Court on Friday suggested the Maharashtra government to frame separate rules and regulations under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) for food service providers such as hotels and restaurants.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a petition filed by the Association of Indian Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR), which has over 6000 members, challenged the constitutional validity of FSSA 2006 and the Rules and Regulations framed under the Act in 2011.

According to association, the provisions of FSSA are not applicable to food service providers such as hotels and restaurants as they do not manufacture food.

“The Act deals only with manufacturing of food articles and are mainly and substantially for manufacturing units. In hotels and restaurants food is cooked and served to customers. Cooking of food is not manufacturing,” the petition states.

The petition further claims that the FSSA and its rules are outdated, ambiguous and unconstitutional and should be declared null and void.

The association has sought direction to the government to create separate rules for food service providers and also declare that the FSSA is applicable to manufacturing units.

The bench while issuing notices to the union government, state government and Food Safety and Standards Authority suggested the Maharashtra government to frame new rules for hotels and restaurants.

Ilkeston chippy’s zero rating for food hygiene

Urgent improvements are needed at an Ilkeston fish and chip shop after it received a zero rating for food hygiene.

After an inspection in January, Briggs Fish Bar in Nottingham Road, was found to have ‘poor conditions’.

Erewash Borough Council officers served improvement notices ‘covering structural issues and staff training requirements’ after visiting the premises a number of times after the inspection.

Phillip Wright, director of operational services at Erewash Borough Council said that work was still ongoing with the chip shop, which means the authority could not release a report on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

“We endeavour to help any food business to tackle any issues that have been highlighted during an inspection and offer advice and encouragement to ensure they improve and put proper standards in place,” he said.

“Under the terms of the national scheme, the business can request in writing that we carry out another inspection once they have dealt with all the issues raised.”

The FSA, in partnership with local councils, aims to encourage businesses to run cleaner premises through its rating system.

The vast majority of food premises in Erewash received a rating of three to five – the top score available – on the association’s website.

While Briggs was the only business in the borough to receive the lowest score, Chinese restaurant Welcome in Bath Street and Ilkeston Rugby Club each received a rating of one, meaning ‘major improvement necessary’.

The owner of the takeaway was not available for comment when the Advertiser called this week.

Licences of 43 city eateries, markets suspended by state

Restaurants, supermarkets and manufacturing units are among 43 food-vending establishments in the city whose licences have been suspended for not complying with the new Food Safety and Standards Authority Act of India (FSSAI).

While the restaurants did not conduct the mandatory periodic health checkup of workers, the food chains failed to label food correctly (not mentioning if it contained non-vegetarian ingredients or food items that could cause allergies). “If hygiene checks are not conducted regularly, there are chances of infectious diseases spreading in the community. Many establishments have their licences suspended as they didn’t conduct these check ups. Those manufacturers who have failed to conduct laboratory exams of the food items have also had their licence suspended,” said Suresh Deshmukh, assistant commissioner (food), FDA.

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FSSAI seeks Rs 5,000 cr to set up food safety labs across the country

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has sought Rs 5,000 crore from the Government for setting up food safety labs across the country, said K Chandramouli, chairperson, FSSAI.The fund is proposed to be used during the in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

FSSAI also plans to register and license 55 million food and beverage firms, manufacturers and vendors, including companies in the unorganized sector, by February 2014 to harmonise food safety standards, Chandramouli said on the sidelines of an Indian Beverage Association seminar here today.

“We do not have food and safety standards in the country which deal with food products across the spectrum. For this, we need to get the state governments and other stakeholders on board,” Chandramouli said.

At present, just one million licences have been issued to food and beverage operators.

Chandramouli said that implementation of the FSSAI Act continues to remain a challenge.

FDA to increase registration charges for FBOs by Rs 100 in Maharashtra

The process of registration of Food Business Operators (FBOs) under the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, will cost Rs 200 in Maharashtra i.e. Rs 100 more than the rest of the country.

Speaking to FnB News, a source from FDA, Maharashtra, informed, “The present charge of registration for the food business operators who have business below Rs 12 lakh is only Rs 100, which is very nominal. If the charges increase by Rs 100 for registration, then the Maharashtra government will use the additional revenue for the development of FDA.”

He added, “In Maharashtra, already 3.57 lakh FBOs have been registered and licensed and a revenue of Rs 63 crore has been collected. We are leading in the process than all other states in the country. If more money will be collected, it will be beneficial for both FBOs as well as FDA.”

He further stated, “I had a word with FSSAI chairman K Chandramouli and convinced him about outsourcing the licensing and registration works because it will still be difficult to complete the licensing and registration on time with manpower problems.”

FDA to increase registration charges for FBOs by Rs 100 in Maharashtra

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The process of registration of Food Business Operators (FBOs) under the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, will cost Rs 200 in Maharashtra i.e. Rs 100 more than the rest of the country.

Speaking to FnB News, a source from FDA, Maharashtra, informed, “The present charge of registration for the food business operators who have business below Rs 12 lakh is only Rs 100, which is very nominal. If the charges increase by Rs 100 for registration, then the Maharashtra government will use the additional revenue for the development of FDA.”

He added, “In Maharashtra, already 3.57 lakh FBOs have been registered and licensed and a revenue of Rs 63 crore has been collected. We are leading in the process than all other states in the country. If more money will be collected, it will be beneficial for both FBOs as well as FDA.”

He further stated, “I had a word with FSSAI chairman K Chandramouli and convinced him about outsourcing the licensing and registration works because it will still be difficult to complete the licensing and registration on time with manpower problems.”

New FSSA stds will be complete only by Dec 2014: TFMA’s vice-president

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently yielded to the Madurai-based Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants’ Association’s (TFMA) demand to revise the standards laid down under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, 1954 and invite nominations for the setting up of various committees for the fixation of new standards. However, P Subash Chandra Bose, vice-president, Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants’ Association (TNFMA), said, “The course of action of fixation of new standards will be completed only by December 2014. Therefore, there will be every chance that the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006 will be postponed by a year till December 2014.”

“Moreover, the 16th Lok Sabha elections are also slated to take place across the country in 2014, and there may be a chance that a new government could come to power. Then there will be a chance of reviewing the present policies of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the FSSA, 2006. So the food safety officers (FSOs) are unhappy with the present developments. As far as the government of Tamil Nadu is concerned, it has now understood the problems and hurdles in the new Act and may make representations for changes in it for the better,” he added. Incidentally, the FSOs and designated officers in the southern state are also depressed because the department does not have the upper hand over any issues pertaining to the FSSA, 2006.

“FSSA is helping to check adulteration at all levels”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satej Patil, minister of state for Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra, is focusing all his energies to make FDA a priority for the state. Among the various steps that he has taken include meeting finance minister P Chidambaram seeking an enhancement in FDA budget. The minister delves into the detail in a conversation with Abhitash SinghExcerpts:

 

What initiatives is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) taking to curb incidence of adulteration in Maharashtra?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) implemented a new Act all over India in 2006. And the Act is a very good one, which is helping to check adulteration at all levels. For instance, adulteration of milk takes place during transportation, distribution and logistics. But now we are having strict check to curb incidence of milk adulteration in Maharashtra. Earlier there was little punishment for milk adulterators but now strict action is taken against them. If adulterators do not abide by the new Act of FSSAI they will face the consequences. The maximum punishment for adulterator will be 10 years of imprisonment and a fine ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

 

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