An outline to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

FSSAI, or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, is a Statutory body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in 2008, with its headquarters in Delhi. It has six regional offices in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai.

The act got established in the year 2008. But, it began working in 2011 after notification of the rules and regulations for the authority.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by regulating and supervising food safety and monitoring food hygiene. It is a statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act (fssai act), 2006 (FSSAI ACT), Consolidation Legislation for Food Safety and Regulation in India.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India gets headed by a non-executive Chairperson, who the Central Government appoints. The chairperson should be either holding or has held the position, not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India. The current Chairperson of the FSSAI is Rita Teaotia, and the Current Executive Officer is Shri Arun Singhal.

FSSAI Act

The Food Safety and Standards Act (fssai act) 2006 is an act that consolidates the laws related to food and also establishes the food safety and standards authority of India. The purpose of authority was to lay down standards of food articles and regulate their activities related to food manufacture, distribution, sale, storage, and import to ensure the attainability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Six acts were repealed and consolidated by the enactment of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006. The Acts were as follows:

  1. Prevention for Food Adulteration Act, 1954
  2. Fruit Products Order, 1955
  3. Meat Food Products Order, 1973
  4. Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
  5. Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1988
  6. Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

Such a change in law shifted from multi-level to single-line control, focusing on self-compliance rather than a pure regulatory regime.

The act was established as umbrella legislation used as a reference point for all matters related to maintaining food safety and standards by changing from a multi-level to a single command line.

The Food Safety and Standard Rule 2011 has the provisions for creating the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal and the registrar of such tribunal, along with the adjudication for food safety cases.

The Food Safety and Standards Regulation, 2011 covers licensing, Registration, Packaging, Labelling of food business, food product standards, and food additives regulations.

It provides for food safety and standard on organic food and regulates food advertising. Also, it prohibits and restricts the sale or approval for non-specified food and food ingredients such as ingredients that may cause harm to human health.

Scope of FSSAI Act

The act covers all the activities related to the food, from its production to its distribution chain or catering. It gives power to the government to make regulations for the safety of food.

It provides the Food Safety and Standards Authority Of India as the principal Government Authority responsible for preparing specific regulations under the Act.

Functions of FSSAI

  1. Setting Rules and Guidelines: FSSAI frames rules and regulations to lay down the standard guidelines of food safety that need to be followed by all manufacturers keeping in mind hygiene and food safety.
  2. Grant License: To pursue Food Business in India, it is required to obtain a certificate and license with the permission of FSSAI. The Food Safety and Standards Authority Of India is the authority to grant food safety licenses and certification for food businesses.
  3. Test the Standard of Food: FSSAI sets the standard and quality of food manufactured by the companies and the procedures and guidelines for laboratories in food businesses.
  4. Keep Government Updated and Suggest Accordingly: Any matter related to food safety and threat to food and any suggestions to the government for framing the food safety and standard policies.
  5. Maintain Records and Data: FSSAI is also responsible for maintaining records and data of all the organisations registered under the FSSAI Act and collecting data related to contaminants in food products, identifying emerging risks and introducing a rapid alert system. Any violation of rules framed by FSSAI by the Organization may lead to termination of the license.
  6. Spreading Food Safety and Awareness: To create a network across the country that informs about food safety and inform the citizens about food safety and its importance and promote general awareness about food safety and the standard of food.

Structure of FSSAI

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India incorporates a chairperson and twenty-two other members. One-third are women, and seven members are ex-officio members of the ministry of the central government. The Central Government appoints the chairperson of FSSAI.

The Scientific Committee and Panels assist FSSAI that help set standards for the Central Advisory Committee in Coordinating the enforcement agencies. The primary responsibility for the enforcement of food safety and standards is on the State Food Safety Commission.

Composition of the authority under Act

The State Food Safety Authority supports FSSAI in achieving its desired goals and objectives. Thus, every state has a State Food Safety Authority. Under which following are the important positions under the FSSAI ACT:

Commissioner of Food Safety

Every state is required to appoint a Food Safety Commissioner for the implementation of food safety standards.

Food Safety Officers

Food Safety Officers get appointed by the Food Safety Commissioner for the specific area, and the responsibility for that area as provided by the FSSAI Act get performed by them. They perform functions such as collecting food samples, getting the samples tested, seizing articles that violated the law and inspecting places where food gets manufactured.

Food Analysts

The Food Safety Commissioner appoints the food analysts to analyse food samples collected by the Food Safety Officer or any purchaser of the food product.

Designated Officer

Every district has a designated officer who has the authority to issue, revoke, renew the license for a food business, or prohibit the sale of specific food articles that violate the provisions of the FSSAI Act. The officer also has the power to prosecute a food business operator or to recommend the same to the commissioner of food safety.

FSSAI Initiatives

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India takes many initiatives for the safety standard of the food. Following are some of the important initiatives taken by the FSSAI:

Eat Right India

This Pan India Cycle movement, also known as Swasth Bharat Yatra, started with the initiative o provide food to everyone and provide quality food. The intention behind this initiative of the FSSAI was to make good quality food accessible to every citizen of the country and to spread consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food.

Clean Street Food

With this initiative, FSSAI intends to train the street food vendors to make good quality food and inform them about the violations of FSSAI ACT, 2006. It also helped in the social and economic upliftment of the street food vendors.

Diet for Life

FSSAI took the initiative to promote metabolic disorders and spread awareness regarding a healthy diet.

Save Food, Share Food, Share Joy

This initiative intends to encourage people not to waste food and promote food donation. It was also done so that the food-collecting agencies connect with the food-producing companies, collect the food, and provide it to the people in need.

Apart from these, FSSAI took other initiatives too.

Heart Attack Rewind

Heart Attack Rewind is the first mass media campaign of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India that supports the target of FSSAI of eliminating trans fat in India by the year 2022.

FSSAI- CHIFSS

The collaboration of FSSAI and CII-HUL is an initiative on food safety science to promote collaboration between industry, the scientific community, and academia for food safety.

Challenges for FSSAI

  • Organising proper laboratories for testing the quality of food.
  • Qualified Manpower is yet to get arranged to test and approve the standard of food getting manufactured.
  • Re-Evaluation of the regulation and terms as per international standards is to get done.
  • Arranging funds to arrange advanced technology.

Regulatory framework of FSSAI

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is a statutory body formed under the Food Safety and Standards Act (fssai act), 2006, to regulate food products. This act set up the formulation and enforcement of the food safety standard in India.

The FSSAI appoints the food Safety Authority on the state level. The State Authority works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The main aim of FSSAI is to:

  1. Lay down the standards for food articles based on science.
  2. To regulate the manufacturer, storage, distribution, import and sale of food.
  3. To facilitate the safety of food.

General rules and regulations as provided by FSSAI

Food Safety and Standards Act (fssai act), 2006 (FSSA) has provided the general rules and regulations to follow in the food business. Following are some rules and regulations.

FSSAI Registration or License

It is compulsory for any person involved in food manufacturing, production, processing, packaging, transportation, distribution or any other food-related activity to obtain a license FSSAI.

Update FSSAI

A change in the business of the food operators must get informed to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Authorities.

The FSSAI license should include the product for which the license is granted. And no firm is allowed to produce any other product other than that is mentioned in the license.

Employ Qualified Person

One qualified person should get appointed in food production. The person who supervises the food product production must have a degree in Science with Chemistry or Biochemistry, Nutrition or Dairy, Hotel Management or food.

Annual Return

Periodic Annual Return is to be furnished every year before 31st May of each year. And if the business is to collect or manufacture milk or milk products, a half-yearly return is to get filed.

Maintain Cleanliness and Hygiene

The FSSAI Licensee must ensure basic food preparation, processing, and storage conditions in a clean and hygienic place.

  • Maintaining factor’s sanitary and hygienic standards.
  • Maintain daily records of production, raw material, its utilisation of resources and sales.
  • To use raw materials of standard quality.
  • Regular cleaning of machines.
  • Maintaining temperature throughout the supply chain of the food article.

These were some basic facilities that every food manufacturer must maintain while producing and selling the food article.

Conclusion

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India got established under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006. The purpose of the authority is to make rules and regulations for the safety and standard of the food.

Every state in India has a State Food Safety and Standard Authority to check the quality of food.

It is also necessary that the food business operates to obtain a license from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. As per FSSAI guidelines of India’s food safety and standards authority, it is necessary to keep the license in the business premises visible to all.

Every business operation has to strictly follow the basic conditions required for ensuring cleanliness and a hygienic environment.

The Food Safety and Standard Authority has the right to enter the business premises for ensuring rules and regulations get followed adequately.

FAQs related to the FSSAI

What is the need for the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006?

FSSA, 2006 was enacted to keep up with the changing requirements of society. It was needed to bring a statutory body for establishing India's Food Safety and Standards Authority and bring out one unified so that there is no confusion due to diversity of laws.

Does FSS ACT, 2006 Unify the food laws?

Yes, FSSA, 2006 is an umbrella legislation that unifies the food law of the country. It repeals and consolidates other food laws t .hat were earlier in force.

What is the composition of FSSAI?

The FSSAI incorporates a chairperson and 22 other members. Out of 22 members, seven members are ex-officio members of the ministry of the central government.

State the tenure of the members of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India?

The tenure of the chairperson and members other than the members appointed from the members of ex-officio members of the ministry of central government for three years and are also eligible for re-appointment. The age limit for the chairperson is the maximum age of 65 years and for other members is 62 years.

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