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 integrates 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.
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 nspections as & when ordered by the authority.
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 must also file returns with respect to the class of food products handled by him for the previous year.
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.
Overview Of the Schedules
- Schedule 1- A list of FBO’s that come under the purview of Central Licensing
- Schedule 2 – Form A to be filled for registration (annual turnover below 12 lacs).
- Schedule 2 – Form B to be filled for licensing (annual turnover above 12 lacs).
- Schedule 2 – Form C is the format of the License
- Schedule 2 – Form D1 is the format for filing annual returns.
- Schedule 2 – Form D2 is the format for filing half yearly returns (for milk & milk products). For the period ending 1st April to 30th September & 1st October to 31st March.
- Schedule 2 – Form E is the Form of Guarantee which can be filled by vendors as an assurance of Quality food being supplied.
- Schedule 2 – Annexure 1- Self Declaration or Shapath Patra format. Where is it applicable?
1. Self attested declaration to be attached for Registration.
2. In case an FBO does not have an NOC from the Municipal Corporation, they can submit a declaration on a Rs. 100 stamp paper.
3. In case of FBO’s who find it difficult developing an FSMS plan for submission, they can submit a declaration or an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper of not less than Rs. 50, during the 1 year transition period.
- Schedule 2 – Annexure 2 – Documents to be enclosed for State / Central Licensing
- Schedule 2 – Annexure 3 – Conditions for License
- Schedule 3 –Fee Structure
- Schedule 4 – Part 1 – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Food manufacturers / processors / handler applying for Registration
- Schedule 4 – Part 1 – A – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Street Food vendors & Units other than manufacturing units applying for Registration
- Schedule 4 – Part 2 – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Food Business Operators applying for License.
- Schedule 4 – Part 3 – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Dairy Industries (Milk & Milk Products) applying for License.
- Schedule 4 – Part 4 – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Meat & Meat Processing Units applying for License.
- Schedule 4 – Part 5 – Guidelines for Hygienic & Sanitary Practices for Catering & Food Service Establishments applying for License.