The Objective of the Food Safety and Standards
The preamble of the FSSAI act also aims to provide food safety to the consumers. It has
prepared a checklist to ensure efficiency and transparency in food safety inspections. They have
prepared a list of compliances for general manufacturing, milk processing units, meat processing units,
slaughterhouses, catering, retail, transport, and storage and warehouse units. These legal compliances
concern the design and facilities provided in the unit, control of their operations, maintenance and
sanitation, personal hygiene, training, and complaint handling in these units.
Over the years, we have seen improved awareness regarding the quality of food and its safety. Whether
the product is imported or home-based the Food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI) is
monitoring and surveying food business operators under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards
Act (FSSA), 2006. It is imperative to note here that since the administrative control of FSSA has been
allocated to the FSSAI body, it thereby holds to be the single reference point authority. There have
been 68 food testing laboratories attributed by FSSAI that have been established under FSSA, 2011
FSSAI License compliances also comprise Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food
Additives) Regulations, 2011. It also offers quality compliance such as a sample of any food article has
to be sent to the food analyst of a notified laboratory. The referral laboratory will conduct tests and
investigate the food samples for fixation of food standards for that food item. To ensure high standards
of accuracy, reliability, credibility, high professional discipline is maintained in the laboratories.
Food Products Formula Compliance Check
In India, for Food Products, whether Manufactured or Imported to India, it is important
to obey the regulations. There are some food ingredients or additives that can be used in the food
products in their country of origin, but the same food ingredients or additives might not be permitted
to be used in India. Therefore, the Food Product Compliance Check is an imperative requirement for the
Food Business Operators to follow the regulatory standards as per the Indian Food Safety Authority.
The process for formula compliance check is a tedious process that requires complete knowledge and a
great understanding of the standards for food products and the food category system of the Food Safety
and Standards Regulations. The commodities that have their standards as per the Indian Food Regulations
are required to obey them. Whereas in the case of Proprietary foods, the ingredients and additives are
distinguished in the regulations. If any food ingredient or additive has not been specified in the
regulations, it needs non-specified food approval from FSSAI, to be manufactured or imported in India.
In order to ensure the use of permitted ingredients and additives within their permissible limits,
product formula review is also mandatory in accordance with the Food Category defined by FSSAI in the
respective regulations and standards.
Food Products Claim Substantiation
Claims and Advertisements of Food Products are strictly supervised by FSSAI in India.
The claims or advertisements that are not in compliance with the regulations or have not been
scientifically substantiated are considered “misleading”. As the food supplements industry in India has
grown quickly, the cases of misleading claims have also increased. Only a few Food companies understand
the marketable risks of misleading claims. The FSSAI has standardized the claims and advertisements on
food products again in 2018. However, the other types of claims that are not standardized under these
regulations, requires the food business operators to refer to relevant scientific data and hold the
documentary evidence of such data. The food business operative must submit the documented scientific
data to the Food Authority as and when called for.
Understanding the need of the product, we assist our clients in the substantiation of required claims
for labeling and advertising purposes. We help our clients to gather scientific works, conduct clinical
trials on their specific food products, including functional foods, for the required purposes.
Various Aspects Covered Under This Are
Cross-contamination: This involves any material that, as a result of
environmental contamination, has been inadvertently applied to the food. Cross-contamination can occur
at the time the food product is produced, refined, prepared, treated, and packaged
Chemical or metal contaminants in the food article beyond the specified limits are
FSSAI also offers requirements for food packaging. Under the Food Safety and Standards
(Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, packaging and labeling regulations have been issued. For
pre-packaged, patented, and other particular products, comprehensive regulations have been issued. It
argues that the food should be packaged in such a way that, once the food is eaten, its contents remain
unchanged. For this reason, the compliance with food packaging and labeling that every food business
operator must observe is:
Use of food additive or processing aid
No food products should
comprise any food chemical or processing aid till it is in communication with the requirements and
guidelines under FSS aid.
Renounce contaminants and toxic substances
No food products
must have any additional impurities, naturally emerging toxic materials, or heavy metals.
Eliminate the use of pesticides, veterinary drugs, and antibiotic
No food products intended to comprise the remains of pesticides or
insecticides, antibiotics, drugs, veterinary solvent, and pharmacologically active substances.
Prohibition on the distribution of organic, modified, proprietary foods
As per the regulations of the FSS Act, no food operator shall issue
or produce any novel food. It additional prohibits the supply of exposed, functional foods, organic,
health supplements, and the food used for unusual dietary.
The packaged food must provide accurate information by way of
Primarily, the information on the food products should be written either
in English, Hindi, or Devanagari language only. Also, there shall be no incorrect or ambiguous
information that could form a wrong impression of the product.
No separate distribution of food labels
The Food Safety and
Protection Act, 2006 (FSS), forbids anyone from selling a label separately from the container on
Information on the label must be readable and
Information that needs to be imprinted on the container should be bright and
readable content that consumers can understand in ordinary courses.
Necessary information should be mentioned on the container
wrappers or labels of the packaged food must contain all the required data in a readable format
through the outer wrapper as well as inner.
Besides FSSAI, it is also the responsibility of state-level food safety and administration bodies to
ensure food quality and safety practices are followed in the state. Effective and efficient import,
manufacture, sale, and distribution of food articles are important to curb the sale and consumption
of spurious, misbranded, adulterated, and unsafe food products.
List of Punishable Offences and Penalties over the FSSAI Compliance
After procuring the FSSAI license, the license holder comes under the supervision of the FFSAI
regulatory authority. Therefore, it becomes crucial to follow all the rules and regulations of the law
in hand. In case you breach any of such provisions, then you may have to endure punishment and penalties
attached to it.
Various penalties are as follows: –
- For selling unsafe food: If any person is guilty of selling
hazardous food articles for human consumption, he/she will be punishable as the contravention
- Offense of adulteration: Anyone responsible for the distribution
of contaminated food shall pay the penalty that may extend to Rs. 2 lakhs if the adulterant is not
severely harmful to health and up to Rs. 10 lakhs if the adulterant is brutally injurious to health
- Failure to comply with the FSS Act: A person is liable for the
penalty of 2 lakh when a food business operator does not comply with the rules and regulations of
the FSS Act.
- Misleading consumers with the false advertisement: Any
advertisement should not deceive the consumers about the nature, substance, or quality of the food
in such situations, one has to pay ten lakhs due to a false guarantee.
- Misbranded food products: Any person found guilty of
manufacturing or selling misbranded food products will be liable to pay a penalty of up to Rs. 3
- Not selling quality food: Every food seller must meet a
prescribed food quality standard. In case a person fails to fulfill the statutory quality, then he
has to accept a penalty of Rs.5 lakh. Further, if the person falling under Sub-Section two (2),
Section 31, for any non-compliance before in hand then, he is liable to a penalty not exceeding Rs.
- Running a food business without an FSSAI license: All the food
business operators must have a valid FSSAI license while running a food outlet, if not, he/she will
be liable to imprisonment of up to six months along with a fine that may extend to Rs. 5 lakhs.
- Any unlawful act which Does not result in important injury: It is
Punishable for an imprisonment of up to 6 months and a fine up to Rs. 1 Lakh.
- Any wrongful act which Results in non-grievous injury: It is
attracted by an imprisonment term of up to a year and a fine up to Rs. 3 Lakh.
- Act causing grievous injury: It shall bear imprisonment with a
term of up to 6 years and a fine up to Rs. 5 Lakh.
- An act which Results in death: Since it is a heinous offense,
hence the concerned person is subject to imprisonment of not less than seven years may further
extend up to life imprisonment. Further, he also has to pay a penalty of Rs. 10 Lakh.
FSSAI compliances have been extended to provide quality food to prevent food adulteration, Contamination of
food at any point in time before it reaches the consumer is a major issue. For this purpose, food business
compliances have been allotted under Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues)
The compliance checklist of FSSAI stipulates the provisions that every food business operator should follow.
Any lapse in meeting the Food Safety and Standard regulations or prescribed regulations can result in heavy
penalties. Due to the strict FSSAI rules, it becomes difficult to secure a food license.