Objectively, Food Safety Standard Act 2006 aims to protect public health against sub-standard food articles. It has outlined an array of provisions that govern the entire supply chain of food, right from raw material selection to the retailing of the finished goods. Almost every business dealing with food-related articles is bound to align with FSS Act norms. Here’s everything you need to know about the FSS Act 2006.
Advent and Scope of FSS Act 2006
FSS Act 2006 was come into existence because of the growing dominance of sub-standard foods. Other factors that have contributed to the enactment of this legislation include changing lifestyle of people, the ever-increasing dominance of packaged foods, the influx of new technologies, and the escalation in adulteration practices. FSS Act 2006 was introduced as a comprehensive legal fencing for food producers who rarely follow any quality standards. Here’s what FSS Act 2006 states:
An Act to comprise the laws concerning food articles and to set up the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to enact science-based norms for food items, and to govern their production process, storage, distribution, and import to ensure the availability of safe food articles for human consumption and matters concerning the same.
FSS Act ensures comprehensive legal fencing for food production by enacting science-based norms via an apex regulator- FSSAI. The arrival of the FSS act supersedes the following legislations that don’t exist anymore.
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Meat Food Products Order, 1973
Functions of FSSAI under the FSS Act 2006
FSSAI– Food Safety Standards Authority of India came into effect by virtue of powers conferred under the FSS Act 2006. As an apex regulator, FSSAI performs the following undertakings:
- Drafting norms to ensure standardization of different food articles meant for mass consumption.
- Underpinning guidelines for certification agencies that authenticate the food safety management systems (FSMS) for FBOs.
- Formulating processes and norms for the authorization of the food-testing labs.
- To assist Central and State Governments in devising viable policies concerning food safety and nutrition.
- Collect insight and data concerning food consumption, biological risk, malpractices, emerging threats, and launch of the rapid notification system
- Setting up a robust data network nationwide so that end-users receive fast and accurate information concerning food safety and issues connected thereof.
- Training programs are facilitated to individuals intending to commence a food business.
- Aligning with global standards for food safety and quality and devising improved norms.
- Advocating food safety and food standards nationwide through different communication mediums.
Licensing of Food Business Operators under the FSS Act 2006
FSS Act 2006 mandates FSSAI to monitor and handle the licensing requirements of FBOs across India. The apex regulator is entrusted with the responsibility of granting Food registration/license based on the following;
It is a basic registration covering small businesses, including petty food vendors. It is mandatory for businesses with a yearly income of less than Rs 12 lacs.
FSSAI State License
FSSAI State license is compulsory for FBOs with a yearly turnover ranging from Rs 12lacs-20crores. This license primarily covers moderate-sized food businesses.
FSSAI Central License
FSSAI central license covers FBOs having a sizable business footprint or production. It is a mandate for businesses with annual turnover worth more than Rs 20 crores.
Key Norms listed under the FSS Act 2006
FSS Act 2006 has penned down a long list of compliances for food business operators nationwide. Here are some frontline provisions that must be followed by FBOs without fail.
- Grant of the food license is not possible if the applicant is found guilty of breaching hygiene norms.
- The license holders of the food production units need to maintain proper ventilation and cleanliness in the food storage area to avert bacterial confrontation.
- Periodic fumigation of the workplace and storage is mandatory, particularly for those dealing with perishable food items.
- Apt labelling of food items is compulsory. Every food package must reflect the manufacturer’s name, license number, batch number, shelf life, and so on. Improper or non-labelling can incur severe penalties, including the seizure of finished products.
- The nutraceutical products must reflect the list of ingredients in correspondence to the exact measures as prescribed.
- FSSAI registration/license is granted for the validity tenure, ranging from 1-5 years. The license fee shall vary as per the validity tenure chosen by the applicant. The higher the validity, the higher the licensing fee.
- Some of the key documents serving as an annexure to the FSSAI license application include the FSMS plan, Water testing report, Form IX, a list of equipment and test apparatus, the applicant’s identity proof, and so on.
- There is a limit on how much amount of preservative FBOs can use to elevate the taste of the given food article. The preservation amount should not exceed what is advisable under the Act.
- Adulteration of the food product is an offence and hence apt penalties would be levied by the authority on the defaulter.
FSS Act 2006 is all about underpinning comprehensive norms for the protection of customers’ health interests. It is a daunting task for the FSSAI to effectively curb and monitor the supply of sub-standard foods. However, the authority has strived various measures to stay atop of this ever-rising concern. FSS Act 2006 serves as a comprehensive legal framework that renders explicit guidelines on how and when to abide by different norms that ensure elevated safety and quality. In a nation like India, where rampant applicability of legislation can seem to fall apart at times, FSS Act 2006 ticks all the right boxes as far as its effectiveness is concerned.
Read Our Article:FSSAI Registration Fees and Various Aspects