According to the food regulations laid down by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, it is compulsory to have labels on all pre-packaged foods. As per the rules specified by Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, not even a single food product without proper labeling can be sold. There are some restrictions made by FSSAI and some FSSAI restrictions are mentioned below:
It is important to have labels on food products for the following reasons:
- It is important for the consumer because labels provide various information like ingredients, weight, nutritional value, price, manufacture date, expiry date etc. to the consumer before purchasing the product.
- It is important for the manufacturer because it helps them to communicate with the customer and inform them about some of the important aspects and the quality of the food product.
The information provided on the label assists the consumers to make an informed decision. FSSAI has laid down regulations on what should be mentioned on the labels of packaged food, at the same time it has some regulation on what should not be mentioned on the label. Business operators who deal with food product should know that any untrue claim on labels can lead to a penalty. So, they should be cautious and honest of what they mention on the label.
Therefore, FSSAI License in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 has formulated some restrictions on product labels that should be followed by all dealing with packaged food.
FSSAI Restrictions on product labels
- No reference to the regulation of FSSAI Act or FSSAI regulations on the product’s label that seek to contradict or modify it or that can be misunderstood in any way can be carried.
- No information saying the product has been approved, recommended, or prescribed by a person in the medical profession or that it can be used for medical purposes, should be provided on the label.
- No mention of unauthorised words can be permitted on the label. Certain food products that are mentioned in regulations can use such words.
- Unless any product related to fruit like fruit syrup, fruit juice etc. contain the permitted levels that standardise them according to regulations, it cannot be described according to these names.
- If a product contains only fruit flavours (natural or artificial) and not an actual fruit, it cannot be mentioned as fruit product but as added *fruit name* flavour.
- If a fruit or vegetable product that is energised with Vitamin C does not contain 40mg of ascorbic acid per 100 gm, it cannot mention that it is ‘fortified with Vitamin C’.
- If a food product is an imitation of another product, it cannot specify words like pure or another word that implies purity.
FSSAI Restrictions on packaged drinking water
The labels cannot claim that the water has any curative, preventive, alleviative, medicinal, or any other beneficial effects on the health of the consumer.
- Unless the packaged water has been collected physically in a place, locality or village, the name of the place mentioned cannot be the part of the trade.
- No such statement, picture, or graph can be printed on water labels that may confuse or mislead the general population about its origin, nature, properties, or composition.
FSSAI Restrictions on advertisement of the food product
- If an advertisement violates the provisions or rules and regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 or provides false information regarding the content and benefit of the product to the public, it will be penalised.
- Business Operators who are dealing with packaged food should make sure that labels provide complete information of their product so that consumer can make better decisions. If they provide any misleading information, it will be termed as misbranding and will be penalised.
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