THE FOOD SAFETY AND STANDARD ACT, 2006
INTRODUCTION: Air, water, light and food are most essential basic elements needed for every human life. Food is what we eat, provides us various nutrients to regulate our body processes, and protects us from diseases. The pure food gives us health, happiness, efficiency and longevity. Health status of a person depends on the lifestyle, quality and quantity of food he/she consumes.
The healthy person enjoys all facilities in his/her life, the ill person deprive of it. Quality and fresh food consumption is essential and pays a vital role in the maintenance of good physical and mental growth of a person.
WHAT IS SAFE FOOD? Safe food is one which should not be source of disease and health hazard. It should not contain any micro biological hazard that is injurious to health. Food is one of the basic human needs, if care is not taken, food can be a major cause of ill health.
Therefore, food that is safe and wholesome is basic need for human health. In earlier times, requirement of food safety, which was more at a household level, was taken care by a system, where food was locally grown or procured, consumed fresh and was rarely stored after cooked. Today, in this fast globalizing world with the advance in technology, food storage, transportation, cooking methods, food tastes and options, the concern for food safety is utmost important. Eating out has become a form of social recreation as well as a social need.
However, the growth in food business comes with its own set of problems. Adulteration in food, contaminated water, lack of proper waste disposal infrastructure and improper storage of food, leads to the availability of unsafe food, risky for human consumption. In this scenario, there is a need for food standards to ensure that food is safe, wholesome and fit for human consumption.
By mid 1990s food processing sectors laws framed in a veritable grid of regulation including a multitude of states law e.g. PFA, FPO,MMPO, Export Act, Insecticide Act, MFPO, BIS, EPA, Infant Milk substitute, APA, Essential commodity act, VOPO etc. etc. As early as in the year 1998, the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry appointed a Subject Group on Food and Agro Industries, which had recommended for one comprehensive legislation on Food with a Food Regulatory Authority concerning both domestic and export markets.
In 2002 National Nonprofit association has been constituted to deliberate on subject.The Joint Parliamentary Committee on pesticide residues in its report in 2004 emphasized the need to converge of all present food laws and to have a single regulatory body.
The Committee expressed its concern on public health and food safety in India. The Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture in its 12th report submitted in April, 2005 desired that the much needed legislation on integrated Food Law should be expedited.
As an ongoing process, the then Member-Secretary, Law commission of India was asked to make a comprehensive review of food laws of various developing and developed countries and other international agreements and instruments on the subject. After an in-depth survey, it was recommended by the Law commission that the new Food Law be seen in the overall perspective of promoting nascent food processing industry given its incomes, employment and export potential.
It was suggested that all acts and other orders relating to food be subsumed within the proposed Integrated Food Law as the international trend is towards modernization and convergence of regulations of Food Standards with elimination of multi-level and multi- departmental control. The group of ministers constructed by the government of India, held extensive deliberations and approved the proposed integrated food law with certain modifications. The so called Integrated Food Law has been incorporated in the food safety and standard bill 2005.
It consolidated the law relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science based standards for article of foods and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import and to ensure availability of safe and whole some food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Act No 34 of 2006 of Parliament received the assent of the President on 23rd August, 2006 and published in the Gazette of India (extraordinary) Part-II. Section 1, issue No 40, Act no 34 of 2006 dated 24th August 2006.
While the coming into force of food safety and standards act, the existing food related laws like
|I||PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT 1954|
|II||THE FRUIT PRODUCTS ORDER,1955|
|III||THE MEAT FOOD PRODUCTS ORDER,1974|
|IV||THE VEGETABLE OIL PRODUCTS(CONTROL) ORDER,1947|
|V||THE EDIBLE OILS PACKAGING(REGULATIONS)ORDER,1967|
|VI||THE MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS ORDER,1992;|
|VII||ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES ACT,1955|
Have been repealed
Consequent to this after conducting various deliberation and meetings with various stake holders and calling for objections, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India framed Rules and Regulations-2011, gazetted on 5.5.2011, which have come into effect on 5th august 2011.
WHY CHANGE ?
Multiplicity of Laws & Regulations (Other than PFA Act) – How many license an FBO will maintain?, 9 Ministries into single authority.
- Industry wanted just one window to deal with all the food regulations.
- Standards are rigid and non-responsive to scientific advancements and modernization.
- Varied Quality/Safety standards restricting innovation in food products.
- Integrated response to strategic issues like Novel foods, GM foods, international trade etc.
- Decentralization of licensing for food products .
- Achieve high degree of consumer confidence in quality & safety of food.
- Investors friendly regulatory mechanism with emphasis on self regulations and capacity building.
- Emphasis on gradual shift from regulatory regime to self compliance.
- Consistency between domestic and international food policy .
- Mechanism for speedy disposal of cases (special courts/Special tribunals).
STRUCTURE OF THE FSSR
Food Safety & Standards Regulations (FSSR), 2011 is divided into six parts:
FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011
- Every FBO is covered.
- Licensing and registration segregated.
- Petty food business operators need to apply for Registration only.
- Conversion of existing Licenses is extended till Feb, 2013.
- A Table containing food categorization and food codes is uploaded on FSSAI website by the authority for public comments. FSSAI is working with Industry to finalize this document to overcome the problems being faced by the industries in applying for licenses.
- Food Categorization is based on harmonization of CODEX and Indian products.
- Product approval process is simplified.
- Only Broader category wise product approval is required.
- If one FBO has taken approval, other FBOs need not to be applied for the exact same product (with permitted variations).
- For Novel/new products whose safety is not established need product approval before applying for license.
- Product approval not required for Traditional foods.
- If product has safe history of use in other countries will be accepted (Case to case basis).
- NOC will be issued for 1 Year.
- In case of Novel food, application will be sent to scientific committees for approval.
- No claim will be made on novel food without prior approval.
FSS (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011
The mandatory requirement under law are
- Trade/ Brand name & FSSR category/ Food Descriptor
- Ingredients in descending order.
- Vegetarian Symbol.
- Non Veg Symbol.
- Net Weight
- Date of manufacturing or packing
- Best Before
- Manufactured and Marketed By
- Lot No.
- Nutritional information
- Consumer contact details
- Best Before: mmm/yyyy in CAPS up to which the product is best for consumption needs to be mentioned
- Manufacturing date:
- mmm/yyyy: Best Before Date > 3 months
- dd/mmm/yyyy: Best Before Date < 3 months
- Use by date/recommended last consumption date/expiry date:-
- The use by date/recommended last consumption date/expiry date shall be given,- in case of package of Aspartame, which shall be not more than three years from the date of packing
in case of infant milk substitute and infant foods.
Height of any numeral in the declaration required under rules, on the principal display panel shall not be less than.
|Sl.No.||Net Quantity in weight/Volume||Minimum height of numeral|
|2||Above 50g/ml upto 200g/ml||2|
|3||Above 200g/ml upto 1kg/litre||4|
¡ No food should be described or presented in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive
¡ Claims should be justifiable.
¡ No claim on proprietary/Functional foods without FSSAI approval.
FSS (Food Product Standard & Food Additive) Regulations, 2011
Chapter 1 title and commencement, Definitions
Chapter 2 Food Product Standards
- Regulation 2.1– Dairy Products and Analogues
- Regulation 2.2 – Fats, Oils and Fat Emulsions
- Regulation 2.3 – Fruit & Vegetable Products
- Regulation 2.4 – Cereals and Cereal Products
- Regulation 2.5 – Meat and Meat Products
- Regulation 2.6 – Fish and Fish Products
- Regulation 2.7 – Sweets & Confectionery
- Regulation 2.8 – Sweetening Agents including Honey
- Regulation 2.9 – Salt, Spices, Condiments and Related Products
- Regulation 2.10 – Beverages (other than Dairy and Fruits & Vegetables based)
- Regulation 2.11– Other Food Products & Ingredients
- Regulation 2.12 – Proprietary Food
- Regulation 2.13 – Irradiation of Food
Chapter 3 – Substance added to Food
- Colors (Regulation 3.1.2 )
- Preservatives (Regulation 3.1.4)
- Anti-oxidants (Regulation 3.1.5)
- Emulsifying & Stabilising Agents (Regulation 3.1.6)
- Flavors (Regulation 3.1.10)
- Carry Over Principle (Regulation 3.1.18)
Appendix A lists down various food additives allowed in different categories of food
Table 1 – List of food additives for use in Bread & Biscuits
Table 2 – List of food additives for use in Foods
Table 3 – List of food additives for use in foods not specified
Table 4 – List of food additives for use in edible oils & fats
Table 5 – List of food additives for use in fish & fish products
Table 6 – List of food additives for use in Thermally Processed Fruits
Table 7 – List of food additives for use in Thermally Processed Vegetables
Table 8 – List of food additives for use in food products
Table 9 - List of food additives for use in food products (Fruits & Veg)
Table 10 - List of food additives for use in food products (Fruits & Vegetables)
Table 11 - List of food additives for use in food products (Fruits & Vegetables)
Table 12 - List of food additives for use in Sugars & Salt
Table 13 - List of food additives for use in Cocoa Powder, Chocolate, Sugar Boiled Confectionery, Chewing Gum/Bubble Gum.
Table 14 - List of food additives for use in Milk products
Table 15 - List of food additives for use in individual variety of cheese
Appendix B lists microbiological requirements in different categories of food:
Table 1 – Microbiological requirements for sea foods
Table 2 – Microbiological parameters for milk products
Table 3 – Microbiological parameters for spices
Table 4 – Microbiological requirements for food products (Fruits & Vegetables)
FSS (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011
FSS (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011
Chemicals described in monographs of the Indian Pharmacopeia when used in foods, shall not contain metals contaminants beyond the limit specified in the appropriate monographs of the Indian Pharmacopeia for the time being in force.
List of Metal Contaminants as per FSSR:
Crop contaminants: Means any substance not intentionally added to food, but which gets added to articles of food in the process of their production (including operations carried out in crop husbandry, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine), manufacture, processing, preparation; treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of articles of such food as a result of environmental contamination
|Naturally occurring toxic substances
|Agaric acid||Max 100|
|Hydrocyanic acid||Max 5|
|Aflatoxin (Regulation 2.2.1)||0.03mg/kg|
Residues: no insecticides shall be used directly on articles of food.
Provided that nothing in this regulation shall apply to the fumigants which are registered and recommended for use as such on articles of food by the Registration Committee, constituted under section 5 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (46of 1968).
FSS (Laboratory and Sampling Analysis) Regulation, 2011
For more details on ACT, Rules and Regulations see the website:www.fssai.gov.in
Food – Definition & Types of Food
“Food” means any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption and includes primary food to the extent defined in clause (zk), genetically modified or engineered food or food containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged drinking water, alcoholic drink, chewing gum, and any substance, including water used into the food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment but does not include any animal feed, live animals unless they are prepared or processed for placing on the market for human consumption, plants, prior to harvesting, drugs and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances :
Provided that the Central Government may declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, any other article as food for the purposes of this Ac having regards to its use, nature, substance or quality;
Standardized Food - for which standards is provided in FSS(Food Product Standards & Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 under FSSA.
Primary Food (zk) - Any article of food, being a produce of agriculture or horticulture or animal husbandry and dairying or aquaculture in its natural form, resulting from the growing, raising, cultivation, picking, harvesting, collection or catching in the hands of a person other than a farmer or fisherman.
Proprietary Food - “proprietary and novel food” means an article of food for which standards have not been specified but is not unsafe.
Genetically modified foods - “genetically engineered or modified food” means food and food ingredients composed of or containing genetically modified or engineered organisms obtained through modern biotechnology, or food and food ingredients produced from but not containing genetically modified or engineered organisms obtained through modern biotechnology
organic foods - means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified organic production standards
Who are Food Business Operators?
- All Food Manufactures, Packers, Wholesalers, Distributors & Sellers.
- All Hotels, Restaurants, Clubs/Canteens, Caterers.
- All Food Transporters/Food storage units, Establishments.
- All Food Processing units (including Re-Packers & Re-Labellers).
- All Food Importers.