Introduction about Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

Pre 2006, there were several acts and orders in force to ensure safety of food in our country such as PFA-1954, Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc.
In order to bring clarity in food legislations and authorities, a single Act i.e. Food Safety & StandardsAct, 2006 was enacted on 23rd August, 2006.
Subsequently, Food Safety andStandards Authority of India (FSSAI), a statutory body, established under the Ministry
of Health & Family Welfare in September 2008. The rules and regulations made thereunder came into force with effect from 5th August, 2011.

Duties and functions of Food Authority

(1)  to regulate and monitor the manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and
import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food.

(2)  the Food Authority may by regulations specify –

  1. the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food;
  2.  the limits for use of food additives, crop contaminants, pesticide residues,
    residues of veterinary drugs, heavy metals, processing aids, myco-toxins,
    antibiotics and pharmacological active substances and irradiation of food;
  3.  the mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies
    engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food businesses;
  4. the procedure and the enforcement of quality control in relation to any article
    of food imported into India;
  5. the procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification
    of the accredited laboratories;
  6. the method of sampling, analysis and exchange of information among
    enforcement authorities;
  7. conduct survey of enforcement and administration of this Act in the country;
  8. food labelling standards including claims on health, nutrition, special dietary
    uses and food category systems for foods; and
  9. the manner in which and the procedure subject to which risk analysis, risk
    assessment, risk communication and risk management shall be undertaken

Definition of Food u/s 3(1) of FSS Act 2006

  1. “Food” means any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption and includes primary food
    to the extent defined in clause (zk), genetically modified or engineered food or food containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged drinking water, alcoholic drink, chewing gum, and any substance, including water used into the food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment but does not include any animal feed, live
    animals unless they are prepared or processed for placing on the market for human consumption, plants, prior to harvesting, drugs and medicinal products, cosmetics,
    narcotic or psychotropic substances :Provided that the Central Government may declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, any other article as food for the purposes of this Act having regards to its
    use, nature, substance or quality;

Who is a Food Business Operator (FBO)?

As per section 3(n) and 3 (o) of FSS Act 2006, a person who is carrying out a food business whether for profit or not, whether public or private, involved in theactivities related to any stage of manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution and import of food. This also includes food services,
catering services, sale of food or food ingredients (even through e-Commerce platforms).

What is the need of FSSAI License/Registration?

As per section 31 of FSS Act 2006, No person shall commence or carry any food business except under a License or Registration. There can be a penalty upto Rs 5
Lakhs or imprisonment of six months for carrying out food business without License under section 63.

Who are petty food business operators?

A petty Food business operators means a person who himself manufactures or sells any article of food or a petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or a temporary stall holder or small scale or cottage industries whose turnover is less than Rs 12 Lakhs per annum or production capacity doesn’t exceed 100 Kg/Day or handling milk upto
500 ltr/day or having slaughtering capacity upto 2 Large Animals, 10 Small Animals and 50 Poultry Birds.

Who is Eligible for FSSAI License?

All FBOs who are not fitting in petty FBO category are required to obtain FSSAI License. There are two categories of FSSAI License i.e State License and Central
License, depending on the annual turnover or production capacity of Food businesses.

Regulations made under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

1. Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011
2. Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011
3. Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction of Sales) Regulation, 2011
4. Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011
5. Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulation, 2011
6. Food Safety and Standards (Laboratory and Sampling Analysis) Regulation, 2011
7. Food Safety and Standards (Food or Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Purpose, Functional Food and Novel Food) Regulation, 2016
8. Food Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulation, 2017
9. Food Safety and Standards (Import) Regulation, 2017
10. Food Safety and Standards (Approval for Non-Specific Food and Food Ingredients) Regulation, 2017
11. Food Safety and Standards (Organic Food) Regulation, 2017
12. Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulation, 2018
13. Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Food) Regulation, 2018
14. Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulation, 2018
15. Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulation, 2018
16. Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulation, 2018
17. Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulation, 2018
18. Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus food) Regulation, 2019