FSSAI Update: Warnings Of “Rigorous” Inspections And New Regulations In 2019

India continues to be concerned about the quality of food it is consuming. And FSSAI wants to build trust among people.

“Businesses will make it available only if consumer demands,” CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said at a CII conference on Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory summit.

“We need to do something to bring trust among people”, he added. The FSSAI would focus on creating a “culture of self-compliances” for food businesses as well as for labs and audit agencies.

He said, “Food businesses now have to be geared up for rigorous inspection regime”. Hence the “Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018”.  

The regulations will come into force from July 1, 2019.  

The Government sanctions the creation of 800 new posts for FSSAI

In the same CII conference, CEO Pawan Kumar Aggarwal also informed that the government has recently sanctioned the creation of 800 new posts for the apex food regulatory body of India. FSSAI further wants to augment its capabilities by creating a network of scientific, research and academic institutions.

FSSAI weighs in on food packaging

FSSAI to launch its food packaging regulation, based on packaging standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards, in a few days. This regulation will lay down the rules for packaging materials such as glass, metal and metal alloys, paper and cardboard used in food packaging. All this to tighten the noose on sub-standard packaging material and contaminants like barium, zinc, cobalt, iron, lithium, and others typically found in certain packaging materials such as plastic.

FSSAI is also going to set the maximum permitted amount of a contaminant substance leached from a material that may come in contact with food products. It seeks to make this regulation mandatory and legally binding.

Another area under scrutiny is the use of newspaper and recycled material for wrapping and transporting food products.  

FBOs can now get an FSSAI license within 1 hour of submission of application

Following the Union government’s vision to give out loans to the MSME sector within 59 minutes of their application, FSSAI is also planning to give out licenses to food business operators within an hour of application. This will be a dramatic improvement from the 15 days it currently takes to generate the said license. The only requirement for this is complete documentation.

The initial pilot is going to be rolled out in 10 districts across the country –  Nagpur, Sangli and Dhule from Maharashtra, North Goa from Goa, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari from Andhra Pradesh, Idukki from Kerala, Somnath from Gujarat, Pradeep (Jagatsinghpur dist) from Odisha and Kangra from Himachal Pradesh.

Want to get your license? Here’s everything you need to do. 

Cannot use words like natural, fresh, original, traditional, authentic, genuine and real on food labels…

…unless food business meets special conditions as laid down by FSSAI.  This move is to cut down unsubstantiated usage of these words to influence consumer behaviour. FBOs need to put a disclaimer when the trademark, brand name or fancy name containing adjectives such as “natural,” “fresh,” “pure,” “original,” “traditional,” “authentic,” “genuine,” “real,” appearing in the labeling, presentation or advertising of a food is such that it is likely to mislead consumers.

The following disclaimer – “This is only a brand name or trademark and does not represent its true nature”, cannot be less than 3mm in size and needs to be placed appropriately on the label.

“These regulations are aimed at establishing fairness in claims and advertisements of food products and make food businesses accountable for such claims /advertisements so as to protect consumer interests”, says the statement by FSSAI.

The deadline for compliance is July 1, 2019

The regulations are to come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette and FBOs are to comply with all the provisions by July 1, 2019.

Given their recent crackdown on aggregators to delist more than 10,000 restaurants recently, this is not to be taken lightly.

Health is wealth?

We will keep our eyes on this. 

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This article has been compiled from:

The Hindu Business Line

The Financial Express

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Souradeep Datta

Souradeep Datta

Souradeep is a content marketer at LimeTray. His roots are in advertising, digital marketing, and design. Loves food, music, simple things and making things simple. Prefers writing about himself in the first person. But he knows he can't always have what he wants. Reach him on: Twitter @deepsour Instagram @deep_sour