The FSSAI is a relevant autonomous entity put together by the Government of India through the Food Safety and Standards Act passed in 2006. Its main purpose is to handle food-related issues across the country thereby laying down science-based standards to regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import of food thereby ensuring the availability of safe and wholesome food for consumption.
All establishments working on some level in food-related industries, need to be registered under the FSSAI. There are three different categories of certification and depending on the type of work handled, annual turnover, and size of the establishment, they will be placed under a specific umbrella. Additionally, there are multiple documents to be submitted depending on the details of the application process. These are:
● The basic registration and licence
● The state-level registration and licence
● The central registration and licence
Companies conducting business without an FSSAI registration can be penalized with massive fines, suspended, or even shut down. However, the rules do state that an individual is allowed to open an establishment without a licence if they started the process. They have 60 days from the time of opening their doors to get their FSSAI licence so they don’t have to put their work on hold.
What are some important tasks handled by the FSSAI?
The FSSAI plays a major role in the creation of procedures to maintain food quality and ensuring the satisfaction and safety of customers.
It formulates measures to reduce toxic and hazardous elements in food resulting in the safety of consumers. It does this through a series of rules and regulations followed by the company to receive an FSSAI licence.
The FSSAI logo on the packages of food products ensures they follow the FSSAI guidelines thereby providing an added edge over their competition.
The consumers also provide scientific techniques to the Government.
Food safety standards differ across various food articles. They aim to implement necessary measures for every particular food type keeping the primary focus on public health.
Various malpractices like fraud, adulteration, misleading claims and other exercises duping consumers are prohibited.
Other than the FSSAI, the Food Industry is also encouraged to initiate multiple methods to ensure food safety:
Conducting hazard analysis tests regularly to identify hazards and remove them
Undertaking procedures to maintain food making and establish verification systems to ensure corrective steps are implemented efficiently
Training employees since they are equally responsible when it comes to handling food products Getting distributors to handle quality checks on food products
Handling the proper advertising, promotional activities for marketing businesses and other gimmicks
When it comes to customers, there are a few basic steps they should follow as well.
They should wash their hands before handling food and keep raw material separate from the processed food
They should consume food within the prescribed time
They should analyse the food ingredients according to their needs
They use these measures to bridge the gap between safe and adulterated food
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