In India, any individual or an entity proposing to begin with a food business must obtain a food license or a registration from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI).
The implementation of FSSAI Rules and Regulations are undertaken by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India which is headquartered in New Delhi. It ensures the availability of safe food products for human consumption by laying down a set of safety standards in lieu to regulate the manufacturing, distributing and storing of the food products. It is thus responsible for promoting the public health among the masses by keeping a regular check.
Approximately 90% of food products have a prescribed specification by FSSAI. Only the sea products and the production involving fishermen and farmers are out of the scope of FSSAI. It generally takes two months to obtain the FSSAI License and approximately six months for the launch of product approval in the market.
Importance of Food Safety and Quality Standards for Consumers
FSSAI Registration plays an important role in formulating the controlling procedures for maintaining the food quality levels in order to ensure safety and catering satisfaction to each customer. It implements measures to eliminate the toxic and hazardous elements present in the food, resulting in the assurance of food safety to the consumers.
Consumer confidence is the primary and the largest asset for gaining the point for the food authorities. A product’s packaging speaks volumes about the product quality and in a way informs the consumers about the food safety standards. The consumers are also allowed to contribute to providing scientific techniques to the government.
Food safety standards differ from one particular food article to another. The basic aim must be to implement the necessary measures for every particular food type in order to keep the primary focus on public health. Various malpractices like fraud, adulteration, misleading claims and other exercises that double cross the consumers should be strictly prohibited.
The Food Industry can initiate various methods to endure the food safety:
Conduct hazard analysis test on a regular basis to identify hazards and consequently remove them.
Establish critical limits for all the controlling point, procedures should be undertaken to maintain the food making actions and establish verification procedures to ensure that the corrective steps are being implemented efficiently.
It is should be made mandatory for the employees to go through an extensive training as they are equally responsible for the right handling of food products.
The distributors are to be compelled to ascertain the quality check of the food products.
The only thing that attracts the customers is the proper advertising, promotional activities for marketing the business.
For the customers, some basic steps like washing hands before handling, keeping raw material separate from the processed food, consumption of food articles within the prescribed time, analyzing the food ingredients according to their needs, etc are to be taken care of, The measures under the food control safety are required to bridge the gap between the safe food and adulterated food.
Types of FSSAI Food Licenses in India
Food Safety and Security Association of India, FSSAI issues three different types of food licenses in India:
Basic FSSAI Registration
The petty and small-sized food business operators like manufacturers, transporters, storage units, distributer, marketers, retailers, etc. are required to acquire a Basic FSSAI Registration which is issued by the State Government for a minimum period of one year and a maximum of 5 years. It is mostly for the units having an annual turnover of less than 12 lakh. The rest depends on the eligibility, the FBO can thus fall under either the State FSSAI License or the Basic Registration.
State FSSAI License
The authority has guided the food business operators, having an annual turnover of more than 12 lakh, like small to medium-sized manufacturers, storage units, transporters, marketers, retailers, distributors, etc to obtain the State FSSAI License. It is issued by the respective State Government having a minimum validity of one year and the maximum of 5 yrs.
Central FSSAI License
Food business operators who have a turnover greater than 20 crores like large manufacturers, 100% export oriented units, importers, operators in the Central Government agencies, airports, seaports, etc are enforced to obtain a Central Food License issued by the Central Government. Also, the FBO’s are directed to obtain the Central License for their head office and if they operate in more than one state. The minimum tenure of this license is one year and the maximum is 5 years.
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