The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have launched the Food Safety Mitra scheme on 16th October 2019.
Food Safety Mitra is an individual professional who is certified by FSSAI to undergo training and to perform such activities on behalf of food business operators with the purpose for implementing the FSS Act, Rules and Regulations.
The objective behind launching the Food Safety Mitra Scheme by FSSAI was to grant support to all these small and medium food enterprises in order that they comply with the food safety laws by making registration and licensing compulsory, providing training facility and hygiene ratings. Keep reading this article to know more about what is Food Safety Mitra scheme.
What is the Objective of Food Safety Mitra Scheme?
- The main objective of Food Safety Mitra scheme is to support small and medium sector food businesses so as to act in accordance with the food safety laws.
- The FSM scheme plans to improve the safety requirement of food, hygiene conditions and at the same time provide new employment opportunities for the people having background in the nutrition and food space.
- The individuals registered under the Food Safety Mitra shall go through the training under FSSAI and receive certificate from the FSSAI. Thus, that will lead to a boost in the expertise and skill of the workers which will enable better opportunities in food safety standards and employment.
- The Food Safety Mitra (FSM) Scheme will also result in enhancing ease of doing business by making a structured and transparent ecosystem by supporting food business operators. These food enterprises will get trained service providers at reasonable prices which shall lower the compliance cost, and in this manner it will also ease out the FSSAI registration process.
What are the Roles and Responsibilities of Scheme?
According to FSSAI, the Food Safety Mitra’s role for the working of the scheme is divided into categories as given below:-
- New Filing of application for License or Registration
- In addition, a correspondence with respect to queries can be raised online by the Authorities
- Application to be filed for modification of the registration or license
- Filing of the declaration of Annual Returns
- Filing application for approval of a Product or the label or for the Advertisement Claim
- Appeal filed for revocation of registration of Suspended Licenses
- Trainer mitra conducts training of the supervisors for food safety.
- Conducts training at the Eat Right Campus.
- Conducting training of the personnel’s appointed for food safety in businesses or on demand.
- To audit and scrutinize the hygiene conditions of the FBO outlets as according to the prescribed guidelines.
- To be of assistance for all the FBOs for directing them on implementation of hygiene regulations.
- To train the food handlers and the supervisors of food safety about hygienic & safe food management practices.
The responsibility of campus ambassadors is to create awareness amongst the customers through campaigns on social media platforms and other marketing strategies.
Read our article:What are the Responsibilities of Food Business Operators in India?
Certification Process of the Safety Mitra Scheme
The certification process for the Digital, Trainer and Hygiene Mitra is by applying through the respective websites and then after registration the validity of certificate shall be for the time period of 2 years. A candidate may choose from any one or more than one variants of the Food Safety Mitra. For example: a Digital Mitra can at the same time be Hygine Mitra, but subject to the condition that he qualifies all the given eligibility criteria and qualification.
|Nature of Service
|Filing of the registration application, its modification & the declaration for registration annually
|Filing of licensing application, its modification & returns for license annually
|Training – basic level , advanced level andspecial level
|Negotiation by Trainer Mitra Rs 2000/- for FBOs having Less than 15 employee Not beyond Rs 5000/- for the FBOs with over or equal to 15 employees
|Negotiation by Hygiene Mitra Rs 2000/- for the FBOs having less than 15 employees Not beyond Rs 5000/- for FBOs with excess or equal to 15 employees
Code of Conduct under the Scheme
The various code of conduct is given as below:-
As a responsible individual for helping the FBOs with fulfillment of the guidelines, the first norm for FSM is integrity. This may possibly include:-
- Observe due diligence by filing applications and in conducting hygiene inspection.
- Advising and aiding the FBOs properly about the procedure, the regulatory requirements, processes and liabilities.
- Give advice to the FBOs to rectify wrong declarations and non-compliance of the guidelines.
- Charging only the fixed fees from clients
It is necessary that FSMs maintain the transparency about their services.
- If any application is filed by them or on the behalf of FBOs then they must cite their unique identification number on every service that is offered by them to the FBOs.
- The FBOs should be communicated about the Service charges. There must be transparent sharing of all the receipts & acknowledgements with FBOs.
- FSM will not signify themselves as the officers of FSSAI and they are not allowed to use the FSSAI officers name or logo without their authorization.
- It is mandatory for the FSMs to maintain the maximum quality standard in every such case of filing of application, training or audit.
- FSMs will make sure the quality of service by being well-informed, responsive and accessible to their client FBOs.
Cancellation of Food Safety Mitra Certification
The security deposit of Rs.5000 shall be collected from the Food Safety Mitra at the time of certification and the validity of FSM certification will be 2 years. In case the Food Safety Mitra wants to take an exit from the scheme then the amount security deposit shall be refunded to the Food Safety Mitra within a fixed time period.
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare commemorated the World Food Day 2019, by encouraging the reach of Eat Right India. The theme for the day was ‘Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World’. Thus, the ‘Food Safety Mitra (FSM)’ scheme was launched to strengthen the administration of food safety and upgrade the ‘Eat Right India’ movement.
Read our article:How to set up a Food Business in India