What is FSSAI?
FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is an autonomous body which is established by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. It has its headquarters at New Delhi, chairman of the agency is Mr Ashish Bhauguna and Mr Pawan Kumar Agarwal as its chief executive.
FSSAI is responsible for maintaining, protecting and promoting public health by regulating and supervising food safety. It is located in 5 regions of India – Northern region, eastern region, western region, southern region and northeastern region.
FSSAI is a body which sets standards for food in India so that there is no confusion among the consumers, traders, manufacturers, and investors. It helps in creating an environment where food products undergo various quality checks and tests, to avoid adulteration, sub-standard food products and services. FSSAI helps the government to improve accountability of manufacturers and traders.
According to FSSAI’s official website, FSSAI has following statutory power as per FSS Act, 2006-
- The framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying an appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of a food safety management system for food businesses.
- Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing on food safety and nutrition.
- Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of the rapid alert system.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
- Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
FSSAI license is a 14 digit license or registration number which is mandatory to acquire to start any food business in India. It is mandatory to print this number on every food product.
FSSAI registration is of three types, type of registration depends upon the turnover, sales and size of business. Types of license-
- Basic registration
- State License
- Central License
What happens when you run a business without FSSAI license?
Any food business which is running without obtaining FSSAI license may lead to an imprisonment for a term of six months and fine up to 5 lakh rupees.
When is the license revoked or cancelled or suspended?
According to FSSAI –
The Designated Officer shall have all administrative powers which may include suspension, cancellation or revocation of the license of the Food Business Operator in case any threat or grave injury to public, has been noticed in the report of the Food Analyst, Provided that while taking such administrative action the procedure described in the Act and Regulations shall be followed.
Burden or Beneficial – FSSAI license
If you want to run a successful brand which is related to food, FSSAI license is what you need. It gives any food business a boost to its brand image and confidence. These days ‘consumers are well aware of their rights as a consumer and are more health conscious than before. A FSSAI license/logo on your food product or premise helps establishments gain the trust of their consumers. To run a successful and reputed food business you need to give trustworthy evidence to your consumer in the form of FSSAI license.
FSSAI license indicates a quality checked, hygienic standards and unadulterated food products and premise, as FSSAI only grant license after proper scrutiny.