All Food Business Operators (FBOs) have to comply with the rules and regulations under the FSSAI. FSSAI holds a random investigation of the product. A Food Safety Official has the authority from FSSAI to inspect the working conditions along with the food handling techniques of the operators, associates, and staff.
Thereafter, they determine a level, based upon how compliant the food business is, with the regulations set by the Food Authority, using a checklist. Based on the checklist, the Official registers a level for the FBO as:
- Compliance (C),
- Partial compliance (PC),
- Non-compliance (NC), or
- Not applicable/Not observed (NA).
Additionally, the Food Official might issue an Improvement Notice, describing the areas or levels that need improvements. If the FBO fails to change these, within a specified time, a Show Cause Notice is sent.
This Show Cause Notice states a date of hearing by which this FBO has to prove, backed with documentary evidence describing why it could not undertake the amendments or alterations. If the proofs are denied, or the FBO fails to reply to the Improvement Notice, within the specified time, it’s FSSAI number will get canceled.
In case the aggrieved FBO feels that the improvement notice is biased, it has the choice to file an Appeal with the State Commissioner for Food Safety. The decision by the State Commissioner can be challenged by appealing to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal or the high court.
Penalty of Non-Compliance
Below is a list of FSSAI penalties for an FBO found which is found to be non-compliant to the provisions:
- If the food business is running without taking an FSSAI certificate, the act is punishable under law. The FBO may face imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs.5 lakh for this.
- If the FBO is selling the sub-standard quality of food items, it may be charged for an amount up to Rs.5 lakhs. In such a case, the person selling the sub-standard items, either himself or by a person working on his behalf, will be held responsible.
- The business selling misbranded goods, either himself or by a person working on his behalf, can be penalized up to Rs.3 lakh.
- All the FBOs included in sales, packers, storage, distributions, or importing of Food Items comprising superfluous or extraneous matter, a penalty may get levied of Rs.1 lakh.
The penalty specified in the above points may vary, according to the conditions. In extreme cases, where death occurs due to consumption of the particular food item, the fine may extend to Rs.5 lakh along with imprisonment, depending upon the harm caused.