Being an apex government institution, FSSAI plays an imminent role when it comes to food safety and hygiene. Up till now, FSSAI has underpinned innumerable guidelines regarding food safety for increasing the accountability of FBOs toward public health. In recent time FSSAI introduced a brand new scheme, viz Food Safety Mitra for effective implementation of food safety laws. This blog will make you aware of different Types of food safety mitra and their corresponding roles.
An Overview of Food Safety Mitra Scheme
The scheme envisages supporting small business owners in terms of compliance with the FSSAI’s norms for food safety. The FSM scheme is projected to improve the ease of doing business by ensuring an organized and transparent ecosystem supporting FBOs wherein these entities will have an opportunity to become trained service providers at affordable pricing. This ultimately will reduce the compliance cost as well as the hindrances linked with the FSSAI registration process.
What are the Ultimate Goals of the Food Safety Mitra Scheme?
The objectives of the Food Safety Mitra (FSM) Scheme are mentioned below:
- To create jobs for the young bloods of this nation representing food and nutrition backgrounds.
- To advocate the ease of doing business by creating a well-structured and unbiased ecosystem of the food business.
- To engaged enthusiastic people with the food safety ecosystem at ground level.
Now let’s move ahead to the next section that talks about the types of Food Safety Mitra and definition of the same.
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Who is a Food Safety Mitra?
Food Safety Mitra is a person who is trained and authenticated by FSSAI to undertakes activities on behalf of FBOs w.r.t the implementation of food safety norms.
Types of Food Safety Mitra
The food safety Mitra i.e. FSM is bifurcated into three important categories as given below:
- Apply via FSM online portal
- On being selected, pursue the web-based training.
- After training completion, attend CBT at one of the designated test avenues.
- Upon the completion of the assessment, the Digital Mitra certificate will be awarded which will remains valid for 2 years.
- If the candidate fulfills the eligibility criteria for being a trainer, he/she will get registered under FoSTaC.
- The candidate will undergo classroom training and assessments to become a certified individual as per FoSTaC norms.
- The validity of such certification will be 2 years.
- If a candidate satisfies the eligibility criteria for being a hygiene auditor, he or she will be appointed as a candidate for Hygiene Mitra.
- The candidate will undergo mandatory training as well as assessments to appoint as a certified Hygiene Mitra.
- The validity of such certification will be 2 years.
A candidate can play a dual role by opting for multiple FSM certifications. For example, a Digital Mitra can act as a Hygiene Mitra, provided he met the underlying criteria underpinned by FSSAI.
Roles and Responsibility of different types of Food Safety Mitra
The section below manifest the roles and responsibilities of the Food Safety Mitra
- Web-based filing of a new registration application
- Web-based filing for modification of license or registration.
- Online filing related to the annual returns.
- Web-based filing for availing permission regarding Product/label/Advertisement Claim.
- Web-based filing regarding the suspension or revocation of registration or licenses.
- To conduct training of Eat Right Campuses
- To conduct training of supervisors handling food safety
- To conduct on-training of food safety personnel
- Probing hygiene of FBOs i.e. Food Business Operators outlet as per underlying norms.
- Helping FBO with the implementation of hygiene norms.
- Conducting training for food handlers & food safety supervisors about safe food handling practices.
Code of Conduct mentioned under Food Safety Mitra Scheme
The various code of conduct under Food Safety Mitra is given below:
Asa responsible person for assisting food business operators with the fulfilment of the norms, the first standard for FSM is integrity.
This may include:-
- Observe due diligence by conducting hygiene inspections& filing applications.
- Helping FBOs to understand procedure, norms, processes, & liabilities.
- Advise the FBOs to get rid of non-compliance & wrong declarations with the guidelines.
- Charging legitimate fees from clients.
Food Safety Mitra is accountable for ensuring transparency with in its services. While applying on behalf of FBOs, FSMs should enclose their unique identification number on every service rendered by them.
The FBOs should get information about the Service charges. There must be a proper system in place that ensures proper sharing of receipts & acknowledgments.
FSMs are not entitled to act as FSSAI’s representatives. They have been prohibited from performing such activities as per FSSAI’s guidelines. Strict actions will be taken against the FSMs who pretend to manifest themselves as the officers of FSSAI.
- The FSMs must ensure unmatched quality standards when it comes to application filing, training and audit.
- FSMs will ensure the quality by being responsive, informed, & accessible to their client FBOs.
Cancellation of Food Safety Mitra Certification
The security deposit worth Rs 5k will be charged from the FSM during the certification time. The validity of such certification shall be 2 years. In case of FSM wishes to take an exit from the scheme then the said deposit will be reverted to the FSM within a fixed period.
The ‘Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme was come to effect to provide much-needed resilience to the administration of food safety & upgrade the ‘Eat Right India’ movement. With its implementation, FSSAI is expecting improved exposure of food safety norms for FBOs operating in India. It can also ensure increased adaptability of food safety norms across all entities within the supply chain of food.
Read our article:How to Register Food Business Online with FSSAI?