FSMS, i.e. Food Safety Management System plan, refers to a set of standards intended to control food safety aspects. Many international standard such as ISO 22000, HACCP, FSSC 22000, etc are presently being referred for Food safety management. But, these are referred to as voluntary certifications. FSMS, as defined in the FSS Act, 2006, implies the adoption of Good Hygienic Practices, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, Good Manufacturing Practices and other practices as may be recommended by regulation. FSMS plan needs to be submitted along with the application for the FSSAI license. This write-up shall shed some light on the process for creating a viable FSMS plan.
Requirement for FSMS Plan
The Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 mandates all FBOs to draft a viable FSMS plan. The same is also true for businesses having certification from HACCP or ISO of FSSC. Further, the preparation of the FSMS plan has nothing to do with a parameter like size or type of business. The format for the FSMA plan remains more or less the same for all FBOs.
All FSMS programs should cover the followings;
- FSMS plan
- Process flow chart
- Inspection checklist
What is the FSMS Plan?
FSMS plan is an essential document that elaborates;
- Each of the steps in the operation
- Applicable/identified hazards,
- Method for curtailing the hazard/threat
- Critical limit
- Method for keeping the tab on the critical threat,
- Corrective action
- Record keeping
Sample of a FSMS plan
|Operational Step||Hazard||Control Measure||Critical Limit||Monitoring mode||Corrective action||Liability||Record|
|Receiving||Microbial growth in RTC received||Receive below the danger zone||4 degree +/- 2 degree||Incoming receipt check||Reject Lot||Purchase Manager||Incoming Material Receipt Log|
|Storage||Microbial growth in food articles to be consumed raw||Store below the danger zone||Fish 4 degree +/- 2 degree for 7 days||Daily monitoring of freezer temp.||Inform chef, and readjust freezer temp.||Sanitation officer||Refrigerator, Freezer temp log|
|Preparation||Microbial contamination via food contact surface||Restrict ill employees||Nil||Thrice a day checks||Chef rejects the lot if contamination suspected||Sanitation officer||Food Area checklist|
What is a process flow chart?
An FSMS flowchart refers to the sequential representation of the process performed by the FBO for producing a specific food item. It is vital to prepare an FSMS flowchart to fully understand the process and sequence of activities.
It is a vital part of the FSMS plan. As the name suggests, an inspection checklist is a checklist that encloses points of inspection and observation section to be filled by an authorized person in a tabular form.
The standard format of Inspection Checklist
|Serial No.||Point of Inspection||Observation|
|1.||Whether daily record relating to quantity of vegetables, fruits, dairy items, etc is in maintained or not|
|2.||Whether periodic fumigation is performed and recorded thereof is maintained|
|3.||Whether food handling staff has a fundamental knowledge of how to keep the fruits and veggies fresh under different scenarios.|
|4.||Whether the facility is equipped with independent zone where perishable food items can be stored|
|5.||Whether the facility is equipped with independent zone where frozen food articles can be stored and maintained|
|6.||Whether any of the food storing container is toxic in nature|
|7.||Whether the facility has taken a proper pest control measures|
What is the role of the FSMS Declaration?
While applying for an FSSAI License , applicants are supposed to furnish an FSMS declaration on the company’s letterhead. This declaration serves as a confirmation that the applicant has;
- Devised a food safety plan in accordance with the FSS Act, 2006
- Made an arrangement for the future implementation of the FSMS Plan
- Committed to sanctioning the FSMS Plan from the accredited agency as soon as such, an agency is notified by the FSSAI.
- Committed to ensuring adherence to general sanitary and hygiene norms as cited under schedule 4 of the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of food businesses) regulations, 2011.
Other information to be enclosed by the applicant in the declaration for FSMS
- Name of the Entity/ Applicant
- Designation of the applicant such as partner, director, proprietor, Authorized signatory
- Address of the applicant’s firm
- Purpose of filing declaration
- Product name and description as mentioned in form B.
FSMS plan is an essential part of the FSSAI licensing process. It serves as a mandatory annexure to the application for a food license. As per the FSS Act, 2006, every FBO must devise the FSMS plan before applying for the respective food license. The authority shall revoke any application without this plan.
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