The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. It has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. Here are 8 things that will help you understand the food law better.
1. FSSAI is India’s code of conduct for food companies. Approximately 90% of food products available in the market have clear specifications that they need to meet.
2. It takes 60 days to get a FSSAI license and 3-6 months for product approval for a new product being launched in the market. These are those products which are not included in the exhaustive food products list.
3. All food products are not tested before giving out the license number. But they may be picked up for random sample checks at any point of time.
4. All food products, imported foods, packaged foods and even fresh produce, comes under the purview of FSSAI. Only 2 places where no control is asserted is when produce or grains are with the farmer and seafood is in the hand of the fisherman.
5. Compared to the previous food safety act, PFAA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act), FSSAI is more powerful with its policing abilities. By introducing and enforcing this law, the government is trying to ensure that what you eat is as safe as it can get.
6. End consumer has more benefits. You can file a complaint against a food product which will get investigated and if found guilty you are eligible for compensation.
7. As part of FSSAI the following things must be mentioned on packaged food labels, and you must check for them: Nutritional Value, Shelf Life and Expiry Date, Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian Stamp and FSSAI logo with the license number.
8. Your vegetable vendor can also get a license as long as he fulfills the mandates of the law. This allows FSSAI to track your food in your hands to the first hand it came from.
It is evident how imperative it is to procure the license when it comes to food businesses. The presence of the license ensures smooth, efficient and safe functioning of all sectors of edible products.