Firstly, A very Happy New Year to all. As the year starts, FSSAI comes up with some shocking and exciting news for the Food Business operator’s; mainly for manufacturing and packaging sector.
So lets start our New Year by looking at the same:
FSSAI NEWS 1. FSSAI is planning to replace traffic light system with keyhole type nutrition logo
FSSAI is replacing their proposed labeling norms which state the use of traffic light system for representing salt, sugar and fat content of food packaging with a symbol of nutrition on the lines of keyhole logo. Food business Operators opposed to the traffic light system that supports use of red color for foods that were high in salt, sugar and fat content which led FSSAI to reconsider labeling norms.
As per the sources FSSAI is now coming up with a proposal which includes the use of a ‘symbol’ of nutrition which will help the consumers to identify the products that contain less salt, sugar and fat. Whereas this ‘symbol’ will be different from the symbol of fortification. FSSAI is studying the ‘keyhole’ logo which is used by different countries that represents healthy food. The purpose of this initiative is to push companies to make healthier food products. One of the senior officials from the project says “It (the symbol) may be different for India but the aim is to make consumers aware about the content. Like the F+ logo for fortification, which now we were able to push in a major way, this symbol should be able to make consumers aware and satisfy about the nutritional content of the food product.” An efficient committee is working on the initiative and will soon come up with its recommendations.
FSSAI NEWS 2. FSSAI moves to make food packaging safer
The food regulator comes up with a new regulation on food packaging due to loose packaging such as colored and black carry bags,disposable containers with aluminum coating and sweet boxes which contains major contaminants of packaged food. A recent national survey of food packaging material conducted by FSSAI, showed around 80%of food samples are packed in colored carry bags, 59%in black carry bags and over 24%in aluminum coated disposable containers and 21% in sweet boxes which are chemically contaminated.
In order to take action against this FSSAI is set to notify new regulations which prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics, including carry bags. FSSAI also prohibits use of newspaper and other such materials which carries inks and dyes and is used for packing or wrapping food items. According to the statement given by Pawan Agarwal-CEO of FSSAI, food businesses have to comply with the new regulations by 1 July 2019. He added, “The new packaging regulation would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level. The implementation of the rules may be a challenge in the unorganized sector and therefore, we have given sufficient lead time before the regulations come into force”. The main objective of packaging is to protect the food contents from microbiological, chemical,physical and atmospheric contamination and preserve the food.
FSSAI NEWS 3. FSSAI issues guidance note on irradiated foods safety;busts myths around it
FSSAI comes up with a guidance note on irradiated food which has been titled as ‘Irradiated Food is Safe-Busting Myths around it.’ The main aim of this note is to make Food Business Operators understand about the technological benefits,safety and wholesomeness of irradiated foods. Information on irradiation technology,its benefits, food irradiation facilities in India, public perception, commercial prospects in India and use of irradiation technology globally has been included in the note. Irradiation is a physical process in which food commodities like bulk or pre-packaged are exposed to controlled doses of energy of ionizing radiation such as gamma rays or X-rays to achieve different technological objectives.
The note issued by FSSAI has emphasized on the fact that the radiation technology can be used for multiple purposes. The application of food radiation on the basis of Dos requirements:low, medium and high can be used for extension of shelf-life,destruction of storage and quarantine insect pests, and killing of parasites,pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.
V P Venugopalan, associate director (A), bioscience group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay, states, “The guidance note issued by FSSAI provides, in a nutshell, information about the usefulness of radiation processing as a safe, convenient and economic method of food preservation. It also contains a very useful FAQ section that explains, in simple language, what the whole idea of food irradiation is about.”
The reason of FSSAI behind issuing this note is to create awareness among the people as there is confusion between the process of irradiation and radioactivity as a contaminant in food. The common man needs to know that the radiation processing facilities have inbuilt safety features that prevent human exposure to radiation. Spices, dry vegetable seasonings, meat and meat products, herbs and herbal products, fresh fruits and vegetables are currently the major commodity groups where irradiation technology is frequently used.
In irradiated fresh fruits and vegetable category, USA and New Zealand are the largest importers, while US, Australia and India are the major exporters.
FSSAI NEWS 4. A new rule book for online food portals
The Indian food delivery sector has seen exceptional growth during the past, hence the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) has issued revised guidelines for Online Food and Grocery operators and as well as Online food delivery platforms.
These guidelines include scrutiny of eCommerce food companies because last mile delivery and safety of food products shouldn’t be compromised. Food products that are offered for sale can be checked by FSSAI at any point of supply chain. Along with it, online food delivery platforms need to provide an indicative image of food on their platforms so that consumers can recognize the product.Consumers will also provide all the important information mentioned in FSS(Food Safety and Standards) Act before purchase and only fresh food should be provided to them. “With an increasing use of eCommerce platforms by consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on safety of food provided to consumers,” FSSAI chief executive Pawan Agarwal said. He added, “Furthermore, these guidelines will help in building confidence in the eCommerce food business sector and increase its credibility.” It also states that shelf life of the product should be 30% or 45 days before expiry at the time of delivery. Most of these online food portals are supporting the same and few of them are yet to respond.
That’s it for the week , we hope that this news will help your business to start fresh and to grow in this year.
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