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New law makes Commissioner of Food Safety licensing authority

The Chennai Corporation will no longer issue food licences due to the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) replacing the erstwhile Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFAA). It has directed hotels, restaurants and retailers in the city to approach the office of the Commissioner of Food Safety for issue of food licences henceforth. The FSSA designates the Commissioner of Food Safety as the licensing authority.
Hotels, bakeries, tea-shops, sweet and savouries stalls, departmental stores, vegetable and fruit vendors, everybody selling food items would be coming under the purview of the new Act, say those in various trade associations.
Associations including the Chennai Hotels Owners Association and Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangakalin Peramaipu have raised objections to provisions relating to fine and penalty clauses, the amount of licence fee fixed under the Act and the standards of various products.
K.T. Srinivasa Raja, president, Chennai Hotels Owners Association, said the uniform licence fee would affect small hotels. “We don’t know why the government is treating this as revenue instead of as nominal fee. We have already sent a letter to the Central government in this regard and hope we would hear something positive from them,” he said.

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