The apex regulator FSSAI has extended the duration for the compliance relating to Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020, & its revised regulations of 2021. This decision has been taken in view of other regulations having different timelines for compliances. These regulations shall come into effect from July 1, 2022. Until then, FBOs are bound to comply with the prevailing labelling norms.
The decision regarding the extension of the timeline of labelling norms was requested by the concerned stakeholders. In addition to these regulations, the stakeholders also asked FSSAI to extend the compliance timeline relating to the nomenclature of the following food articles;
- blended edible vegetable oil
- Health Supplements, Nutraceutical
- Food for Special Dietary Use
- Food for Special Medical Purpose, and Novel Food Amendment Regulations
- Food for infant nutrition
Previously, the said regulations were set to come to effect from April 1, 2022. The timeline for compliance of the labelling norms is extended up to July 1, 2022. In the meantime, FBOs may use prevailing labelling norms voluntarily. But, the product cited under the notifications will comply with the provisions and all other mandatory requisites mentioned therein,
FSSAI has also taken a request from the food industry into account to maintain prevailing states of affairs relating to the tolerance limit for the label-declared quantity of nutrients presently cited in the packaging & labelling regulations of 2011, till the time a decision came into effect on the finalisation of the amended tolerance limits.
As far as the tolerance limit for nutrients is concerned, the notification clarified that the prevailing norms of FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, shall stay in effect till a final decision came into effect, and the compliance to the quantity of declared nutrients cited on the label shall be in line to the established practices.
Prevailing Labelling norms cited under FSS, Act
- Every pre-packaged food item must affix with a label reflecting details as required unless otherwise provided, namely;
- The details of declaration needed under these provisions to be cited on label shall be in English or Hindi in Devnagri script: provided that nothing herein mentioned shall hamper use of any other language in addition to the said languages.
- The pre-packaged food label shall not be misleading or render erratic and false information to the end-users.
- Label in pre-packaged foods should be aptly affixed and should not seem separated from the container
- Contents on the label shall be legible, indelible, and clear under conditions of purchase and use
- The wrapper on the container should not compromise the legibility of details mentioned on the label.
- Label affixed on the pre-packaged foods should reflect the following details:
- Name and description of the food
- Listing of ingredients in descending order of their composition by volume or weight
- Where the compound ingredients constitute more than five per cent of the food, the same must be enclosed in the list of ingredients in a separate bracket.
- Added water must be reflected in the ingredient list except in scenarios where the water forms part of an ingredient such as syrup or broth, brine, used in the compound food, and so reflected in the list of ingredients.
There is no need to mention water or other volatile ingredients evaporated during manufacturing.
In case of condensed or dehydrated food items, which are aimed to be reconstituted by water addition, the ingredients in such a food shall be declared in descending pattern of volume or weight.
Every food package sold as a mixture shall manifest the ingredient’s percentage used during the time of manufacturing process (including categories of ingredients or compound ingredients), if such ingredient-
- is emphasised as cited on the label through pictorial representation or words or;
- is not mentioned in the name of the food but is imperative to characterise the food item and is expected to be available in the foods by customers, and if the removal of the quantitative ingredient declaration shall give a false impression to the end-users.
The recent notification from FSSAI seeks to mitigate the clash of the timeline of different food-related compliances. This would help the FBOs to meet the said compliances in a timely and systematic manner.
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