- Standardized products: for which standards have been set and no prior product approval is required.
- Non-standardized food products: products that do not have safety parameters defined.
Currently, FSSAI has standardized 380 food items in 16 categories. Those food items that are non-standardized require product approval. It is imperative to note that traditional foods and their ingredients or additives require product approval. These product approvals are provided by FSSAI under the authority of various regulations that have been implemented.
The Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006 has made it compulsory for all business operatives to follow food business compliances. These also have included licenses and registrations by the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011. It further ensures the safety, sanitary, and hygiene of food products offered by food business operators to the welfare of customers of the country. It is an obligation for all food business operatives to acquire a license from FSSAI, including entities right from post farming, manufacturing, selling, retailers, labeling, and more.
From a consumption perspective, India is a very big market. Each state in India has its own laws governing the business, such as health and trade licenses from the respective municipal corporations, environmental clearances from the state pollution control board. However, every food business operator in India must comply with the Food safety and standards act. To this effect, the Act has confined the food safety and standards in India from a multi-level and multi-departmental control to a single line of command body having headquarters in New Delhi.
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 Regulations.
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.
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.
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.
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 considered unsuitable.
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 (Three) lakhs.
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. 25,000.
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.
What is Fssai compliance?
The principal components of the Food Safety Management System, ensuring compliance with FSSAI [Food Safety and Standards Authority of India], are product approval and label validation.
What risk will be involved in the following cases?
● As for raw-material non-compliance.
● In the case of illegal practices and giving unhealthy food: contaminants, microbes, pesticides, metals, etc.
● In the case of non-standard packaging, misbranding, and labeling errors.
● As for cheating advertisements.
● As for non-standardized products.
Who Are Food Business Operators (FBOs)?
The food business operators are :
● Packaged Food Manufacturers
● Storage providers
● Importers and exporters
● Wholesalers and retailers
What are the Food Compliance services include?
● Development of Food Safety Programs
● Preparation for External Audit / Internal Auditing
● Team Training of Food Safety and Hygiene modes Products Specifications Support with non-conformances
● Quality Assurance Certified Supplier program
What are the Responsibilities Of Food Safety And Standard Authority Of India?
Regulations-To ensures the provisions of FSSAI Act.
Advisories-To provides advisories on matters connected to food and food supplements.
Alerts-To give alerts with notifications on general awareness and matters related to food safety.
Compulsory recalls-To issues notice to food business operators to recall products that are infected, unsafe, sub-standard for human consumption.