The Food Safety Standards Act was passed on 23rd August, 2006, by the parliament. The Government of India on notification set a body known as the Food Safety Standards Authority of India that formulated the Food Safety Standards Regulations (FSSR), 2011 that came in to effect from the 5th of August, 2011. The Ministry of Health & Welfare governs the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI governs all food business operators in the country & has entrusted the powers at various levels to other designated authorities like the FDA to speed the process of granting registration or licenses. With the law coming into effect last year, it becomes absolutely mandatory for every food business operator to register themselves under FSSAI or acquire a license. The Food Safety Standards Act brings under one roof all of the following-
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
- Fruit Products Order, 1955.
- Meat & Food Products Order, 1973.
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947.
- Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation), 1988.
- Solvent Extracted Oil, Deoiled Meal & Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967.
- Milk & Milk Products Order, 1992.
- Any order under essential commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) relating to food.
The Standard Weights & Measures Act, 1976 is however, not covered under the FSS Act.
Every FBO whose annual turnover is below 12 lacs you definitely need to register where as if annual turnover is above 12 lacs the FBO needs to get a license. Every FBO shall display the license, the format of which is given in Form C, at all times at a prominent location. Every manufacturer, distributor or dealer selling an article of food to a vendor shall give either separately or in the bill, cash memo or label, a warranty or guarantee of quality, the format of which is in Form E.
Any food business operator that fails to comply with the conditions will have their license suspended or cancelled without a refund of fee.
The maximum punishment for violating the regulations is a fine of Rs. 10 lacs & 3 yrs imprisonment. The validity of the license may be anywhere from 1-5 yrs from the date of registration along with periodic inspections as & when ordered by the authority.
The past: Need for a new Food Safety Law –
• The pre-existing food regulatory laws were complicated due to involvement of various ministries and departments
• Multiplicity of food laws and different enforcement agencies working in different sectors of food made it more complex
• It lacked in scientific base, modernization and advanced instrumentation in analytical areas
• Lack of awareness among consumers
The new Food Safety Law –
• Decentralization of licensing for food products
• Easy issue of License with time frame of two months
• No License for small food business operators; only registration is mandatory
• Ensures simplified licensing procedures and registration
• The act ensures safety of consumers and assures full compensation to victim (In case of injury, grievous injury, death)
• The act emphasizes on training and awareness program regarding food safety for business operators, consumers and regulators
• The act encourages self regulation through introduction of Food Recall Procedures
Benefits of the new Food Safety & Standard Act
• Single point access to all laws and departmental controls.
• FSSAI as a single reference point for all matters relating to Food Safety and Standards, Regulations and Enforcement
• High degree of consumer confidence in quality & safety of food
• A single license by the Licensing Authority for one or more articles of food and for different establishments or premises in the same local area