Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) is a large scale training programme of Food Safety & Standard Authority of India initiated with the aim to spread education and raise awareness on Food Safety & Standards Act, Rules & Regulation among food business operators.
Raising the bar of food safety in the country by
- creating an improved environment of self-compliance to FSS Act, Rules and Regulations by the responsible Food Businesses.
- bringing a behavioural change and inculcating a culture of Food Safety in the country.
In terms of Section 16(3) h of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has to ensure training (whether within or outside their area) of persons who are or intend to become involved in food businesses, whether as food business operators or as employees or otherwise.
It is accordingly desired that all food businesses having central licences or state licenses should have at least one trained and certified food safety supervisor for every 25 food-handlers or part thereof on all their premises.
These supervisors should in turn carry out periodic onsite training of all food handlers, at least on a quarterly basis and maintain record thereof for the purpose of food safety audits and inspections.
Food handlers in all petty food businesses that are registered should be trained and certified.
While the Food Authority, in its 24th meeting held on 21st September 2017 approved the detailed working framework of FoSTaC, it has also further opined in its 25th meeting to incorporate the mandatory provision of “FoSTaC trained food safety supervisor in each FBO” in the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration) Regulation 2011.
The terminologies used in FoSTaC ecosystem are as follows:
Food Safety Supervisor: Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) is a person who is trained to recognise and prevent risks associated with food handling in food business, holds a valid FSS certificate under Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) of FSSAI training programme or approved by Food Authority from time to time and shall be able to train and supervise the food handler.
Food Handler: Food Handler is any person who directly handles packaged or unpackaged food, food equipment and utensils, or food contact surfaces and is therefore expected to comply with food hygiene requirements.
Training Partner: Training partner is any organization who is involved either in training or is part of the food ecosystem as training providing agency, large food business, food safety audit or certification agency, food testing laboratory etc. and has been empanelled with FSSAI for imparting food safety training under FoSTaC.
National Level Resource Person (NLRP): National Level Resource Persons are those who have more than 10 years of experience from industry, academia and other related field and are being nominated into the direct resource pool of FSSAI. NLRPs are responsible for developing training manual, providing training to the trainers and large scale mobilization
Food Safety Courses
17 types of competency based certification programmes are available under FoSTaC. The duration of each course is 8 to 12 hours spreading over a period of 1 to 2 days. These courses are offered at three levels: Basic, Advanced & Special and mainly addresses working professionals in the food sector.