The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India was established under Food Safety and Standards in 2006 to handle food-related issues in multiple Ministries and Departments. They were put together to lay down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import to make sure people received wholesome food for their consumption. Their main function is to maintain the quality of food in India which they do through a series of regulations put in place for various food-related establishments to follow.
What are the different categories under the FSSAI for companies to apply for licences?
The FSSAI has three main categories they use when providing licences. These are given to companies or establishments depending on the size of their establishment or turnover.The basic registration applies to small establishments with a turnover of anything up to 12 lacs.These usually refer to trivial food manufacturers including retailers, hawkers, itinerant vendors.
The next category is the state-level licence registration referring to larger establishments all having annual turnovers between 12 lacs to 20 crores. This category usually encompasses establishments and industries that might not have moved to a national level yet.
Finally, the largest food-related industries have to apply for the central registration licences used when carrying out business on a pan India level. They haul in more than 20 crores annually while also having branches in multiple states throughout the country. All the above licences have a validity between one to five years with the longest being five years. If the licence is expiring, the applicant will have to fill out either Form A or Form B and submit it a minimum of seven days before its expiration. This will then be processed and the renewed licence provided. Furthermore, in the case of a deceased applicant, the licence can be transferred to a family member. However, the process needs to be handled soon since the licence cannot be in the name of an individual who isn’t around.
All three of these licence registration processes have their documents to be submitted. The FSSAI also has a website allowing food business operators to apply for licences without much trouble and saving time. To do business, a person should also apply for a shop licence.
What happens to companies or industries that do not meet the FSSAI requirements?
Much like their ability to provide licences, the FSSAI also can cancel or suspend them. This is usually done if the basic requirements are not met or:
- In the case of food poisoning associated with the spread of disease
- If there are complaints where the consumer’s safety is affected
- If food business operators have non-compliant premises
- If there has been a history of non-compliance of the FSSAI safety rules and requirements,
they will cancel the suspended licence
- If the venue has a non-compliance with an improvement or a legal notice without an
- If the venue has prevented an inspection or Interrupted an officer