Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
|Parent agency||Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India|
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
The FSSAI is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India. Ashish Bahuguna is the current Chairperson for FSSAI and Pawan Kumar Agarwal is the current Chief Executive Officer for FSSAI.
The FSSAI has its headquarters at New Delhi. The authority also has 6 regional offices located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai. 14 referral laboratories notified by FSSAI, 72 State/UT laboratories located throughout India and 112 laboratories are NABL accredited private laboratories notified by FSSAI.
FSSAI was established by Former Union Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss,Government of India on 5 September 2008 under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The FSSAI consists of a chairperson & 22 members. The FSSAI is responsible for setting standards for food so that there is one body to deal with and no confusion in the minds of consumers, traders, manufacturers, and investors. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The following are the statutory powers that the FSS Act, 2006 gives to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- Framing of regulations to lay down food safety standards
- Laying down guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing
- Providing scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government
- Contributing to the development of international technical standards in food
- Collecting and collating data regarding food consumption, contamination, emerging risks etc.
- Disseminating information and promoting awareness about food safety and nutrition in India
- Northern Region – With head office at New Delhi
- Eastern Region
- North Eastern Region
- Western region
- Southern Region
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is a statutory body under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The Food Safety and Standards Act (FSS), 2006 is the primary law for regulation of food products. This act also sets up the formulation and enforcement of food safety standards in India. The FSSAI appoints food safety authorities on the state level.
The FSSAI functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The main aim of FSSAI is to
- Lay down science-based standards for articles of food
- To regulate manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of food
- To facilitate food safety
The FSS Act is a bucket for all the older laws, rules and regulations for food safety. The FSS Act took 7 older acts into one umbrella.
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Meat Food Products Order, 1973
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
- Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
- Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967
- Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992.
- Import Division
- International Co-operation
- Regulatory Compliance Division (RCD)
- Food Safety Management System (FSMS) Division
- Risk Assessment and R&D division (RARD)
- Information Education Communication (IEC) Division
- Regulation and Codex Division
- Quality Assurance/ lab Division
- HR Division
- Standards Division
Research and quality assurance
FSSAI has set certain guidelines for food safety research. The Research and Development division is responsible for research with the following objectives:
- Generate new knowledge that would help in continuously updating and upgrading food safety standards which are compatible with international organizations
- Carry out evidence based studies for improving or building policies.
FSSAI has been mandated to perform various functions related to quality and standards of food. These functions in addition to others include “Laying down procedure and guidelines for notification of the accredited laboratories as per ISO17025.” The FSSAI notified laboratories that are classified as:
- FSSAI notified NABL accredited labs- 112
- State Labs-72
- Referral Labs-14
Standards framed by FSSAI are prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
The FSSAI has prescribed standards for following food products:
- Dairy products and analogues
- Fats, oils and fat emulsions
- Fruits and vegetable products
- Cereal and cereal products
- Meat and meat products
- Fish and fish products
- Sweets & confectionery
- Sweetening agents including honey
- Salt, spices, condiments and related products
- Beverages, (other than dairy and fruits & vegetables based)
- Other food product and ingredients
- Proprietary food
- Irradiation of food
The development of standards is a dynamic process based on the latest developments in food science, food consumption pattern, new food products and additives, changes in the processing technology leading to changed specifications, advancements in food analytical methods, and identification of new risks or other regulatory options.
Formulation of standards of any article of food under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, involves several stages. After consideration by the Food Authority, the draft standard is published (Draft notified), for inviting stakeholder comments. Since India is a signatory to the WTO-SPS Committee, Draft Standard is also notified in WTO. Thereafter, taking into account the comments received from the stakeholders, the Standard is finalized and notified in Gazette of India, and implemented.
Consumers can connect to FSSAI through various channels or call Toll free Number 1800112100. Recently an online platform called ‘Food Safety Voice’ has been launched which helps consumers to register their complaints and feedbacks about food safety issues related to adulterated food, unsafe food, substandard food, labeling defects in food and misleading claims & advertisements related to various food products. A GAMA portal for concerns regarding misleading claims and advertisements too is operated.
Applicable FSSAI License
FSSAI issues three types of license based on nature of food business and turnover:
- Registration: For Turnover less than ₹12 Lakh
- State License: For Turnover between ₹12 Lakh to ₹20 Crore
- Central License: For Turnover above ₹20 Crore
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