Turns out, food processing industry alone contributes around 30% of the total GDP! FSSAI has revolutionised the entire industry in terms of safety and compliance; the ever-improvising FSSAI Updates adding clauses and norms that have benefitted and helped the overall sector grow.
It’s our common understanding that information is the first step to achieve compliance and resonate with the International laws and standards. Which is why, we bring to you FSSAI Updates from the last few days that can either make or break your food business. Take a look!
1. FSSAI brings notifications on canned tomatoes as well as revised standards related to thermally-processed tomato juice, jams, fruit jellies and marmalades.
These regulations are called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Sixteenth Amendment Regulations, 2017. Post the comments and discussions, the food business operators (FBOs) are expected to comply with the same by July 2018. The order states that the canned tomatoes shall be prepared from carefully selected, fresh, good quality and clean, firm and ripe tomatoes, only from the variety Lycopersicum esculentum Mil. Along with this, some more ingredients in the list are natural spices and condiments some acidifying agents, etc.
There is also a mention of calcium chloride (firming agent) and of common salt used along with its permissible amounts – 0.045 and 0.080 percent in the whole style and non-whole style of the type of tomato product and 3% of the net weight, respectively. You will also find the specific characteristics and the pre-requisites that the product should have – pH: 4.5, Sugar Content (invert sugar): 42%, Headspace in the can: 7mm and Negative Vaccum space, along with certain others.
2. In a brilliant turn of events, FSSAI has now made it mandatory for all liquor bottles to carry a mandatory message against drunk driving, as well as adding a pictorial message against same on cigarette packets.
After Delhi High Court directed the FSSAI to take initiative in the drunk and drive scenario rampant in the country, the apex body has considered this move to be a novel one. 6 designs have been so far shortlisted, and post a confirmation from Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare about the designs, the pictorial depiction shall be mandatory.
3. To ‘avoid harassment’ of food companies, FSSAI has decided to drop all the cases filed against FBOs for alleged violations of old Food Safety Standards and norms.
This move is brought in with an objective to rest the cases against the food companies with respect to old regulations which are not in practice now. As the old regulations are replaced or modified, the cases now stand nullified as the safety of the consumers cannot be endangered. It is aimed to reduce the burden related to past non-compliance issues and a fresh, new opportunity to start afresh.
4. New vertical standards related to additives are now in place, defining clauses mentioning the form, molecular weight and empirical formula of new additives.
The regulations are called Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Seventeenth Amendment Regulations, 2017 have been added to Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. Mr. Ashwin Bhadri said, ‘standardising and including the permissible ingredients only ensures increased compliance, so the FBO does not have to resort to non-compliant ingredients or methods’. Examples of vertical standards are acidity regulators, antioxidants, flavour enhancers, etc. A series of additives under different categories are added in the regulations.
5. An exhaustive manual on Food Import for smooth clearance procedures is now drafted and issued by FSSAI. This will help effective implementation of food norms and regulations.
To keep a check on the quality of the food product imported into the country, FSSAI had notified Food Safety and Standards (Imports) Regulations, 2017 which enabled a single clearance reference regulation with respect to import. This notification includes procedures and documentation needed for ‘Food Imported for Commercial Purpose’ and ‘Food Imported for other Purpose’ like personal consumption, exhibition and tasting, etc.
Five Steps have been finalised as follows –
1. Filling of an application at the customs ice gate
2. Registration on FICS, login and upload of documents
3. Scrutiny of the documents, payments of lab testing fees and appointment for visual inspection
4. Laboratory analysis
5. Issue of NOC/non-conformance certificate (NCC)
FSSAI has always filled the loopholes in the regulations with its improvisation and replacement of regulations and clauses. To get more such FSSAI Updates directly into your WhatsApp inbox, send ‘SUBSCRIBE’ to +91 82916 31145. For email, subscribe to the blog for updates.
FSSAI has also mandated Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) Programme for all Food Business Operators, which makes it essential to have a trained and qualified Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) from the programme.
If you haven’t attended the training yet, do it right away, before FSSAI comes knocking at your door!
Visit our website here to register for the upcoming FoSTaC Trainings and ensure compliance. FSSAI might not rest the non-compliance cases, this time!