FSSAI Guidelines for E-commerce Food Operators

Last Updated at: May 19, 2020
5060
As per the guidelines, food business owners or employers should have a COVID 19 screening protocol in place to screen all personnel entering the premises. Those with temperature more than 99 degree Fahrenheit and/or flu like symptoms should not be allowed to enter establishments.

 

FSSAI has extended its scope to include the applications of e-commerce food services. This category includes delivery services such as Uber Eats, Swiggy and Zomato and online grocery stores such as Grofers, Big Basket, etc. Of late, the food e-commerce sector has grown tremendously. As these platforms operate widely, it is important for these services to ensure compliance with FSSAI, which could be tough.

FSSAI has recently extended its scope to cover the operations of e-commerce food enterprises. Lately, e-commerce food enterprises be it delivery groups (Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats) or other online grocery stores (Big Basket, Grofers etc) has grown tremendously. Considering these E-commerce platforms operate widely, ensuring compliance becomes difficult. FSSAI itself acknowledged in 2018 that e-Commerce platforms often list a high percentage of such restaurants which do not have a valid registration under FSSAI. There are a variety of guidelines, pertaining to a different aspect of an e-commerce food enterprise. They relate to registration, licensing, listing information, etc. Here is a brief list of all the guidelines issued by FSSAI relating to the e-commerce food operators:

Explore our legal help services to protect your intellectual property, secure funding from Venture Capitalists & comply with the many regulations of the MCA information and resources to help you through your end to end business requirement.

 

As per the guidelines laid down by the FSSAI for e-commerce business operators, there are two types of business model.

  1. Market-Based Model of E-Commerce: It refers to an e-commerce activity that acts as a link between the buyer and seller by providing a digital platform for networking. It connects the brand owner and the consumer via an electronic means.
  2. Inventory-Based Model of E-Commerce: An e-commerce activity where the inventory of food products and food services is owned by e-commerce FBO and is sold to the customers directly online.

Who all are E-Commerce Food Business Operators?

  • Digital Platforms or such entities which are involved in listing services to all the sellers, manufacturers, restaurants, etc. on their electronic/online platform. This platform is used to facilitate like-structured commerce operations. Eg: Zomato.
  • When brand owners, manufacturers, producers or sellers themselves involved in the display of their products or services (catering, processing or packaging) for direct sale to customers via either a market-based or an inventory-based e-commerce platform. Eg: Fresh Menu
  • Delivery Organizations (like Swiggy) also come under the definition of an e-commerce FBO because it extends the facility of storage and or distribution services to the sellers thus listed on their online portal. It covers transportation from the seller or manufacturer to the consumer directly.

Apply For FSSAI Registration

Licensing and Registration Requirement:

The 2011 regulation of FSSAI on Licensing and Registration of Food Business mandates all those e-commerce FBOs that are covered within the First Schedule of the said regulation to obtain a license for its operations. Such licenses are issued by the Central Licensing Authority. Recently, in late 2018, when a video of a Zomato Delivery Agent eating food to be delivered went viral, FSSAI issued new guidelines directing all e-commerce FBOs to engage only trained delivery personnel for last mile delivery. This was done in order to maintain food quality and food safety. The mandatory licensing and registration requirement does not hold true for such e-commerce FBOs which are involved in extending directory services or listing of products and services. However, they are required to clearly give the disclaimer that any violation of FSS and obligation arising therein rests with the sellers, brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers of the food products.

Moreover, these FBOs require to show compliance with the following guidelines:

  • Not provide any false claims or misleading information pertaining to the sellers, brand owners, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, vendors or other importers.
  • Not to display any misleading images of food products or food-related services.

Listing and other Information related Guidelines:

E-Commerce FBOs including sellers, brand owners, vendors, manufacturers etc. who are involved in selling pre-packed food to the customers via either the market based or the inventory based model, requires adherence to the following guidelines:

  1. Display legibly and clearly the display panel which must not include the batch number or lot number, best before, expiry date and the Maximum Retail Price of the product.
  • Provide for an indicative image of the product that is to be sold via their e-commerce FBO platform.
  • Clearly, state the FSSAI License of the platform or the registration number.
  • Provide other information relating to the product or services that shall be made available
  • In order to maintain a basic level of quality and hygiene of the food products and services, every e-commerce FBO shall comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses], Regulations 2011. The guidelines are stated in Regulation IV of the said regulation.

Recently, due to increased consumer awareness, FSSAI has also given directions to e-commerce FBOs to put in place a complaint redressal mechanism. FSSAI has clearly stated that the redressal of complaints launched by the consumers must be within a given timeline, prescribed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Back in 2018, FSSAI acknowledged that e-commerce food services list a high percentage of restaurants that are not registered and compliant with FSSAI. Due to increased awareness among consumers, FSSAI has issued directions to the e-commerce food businesses to be compliant with the regulations. And, it has been instructed that they should resolve complaints from customers within a specified timeline.

Read Also: What happens when you don’t have a FSSAI license?

Can GST be refunded? When can GST refund be claimed?

RFD-01 is the guide that would help to make use of the GST portal for claiming your refund money in the case of extra GST payments. Understand the procedure for GST registration and GST returns here.

What is the support available for collateral free borrowing?

The support provided by the government for the MSMEs to get collateral-free loans resolves the issue of non-availability of adequate credit.More on Income Tax Return Filing.

My employer deducts and deposits TDS on my behalf. Do I still need to file my Income Tax Return?

Filing the income tax by the employee offers several benefits in knowing about the refund and pending amount with the income tax department.Learn more about ISO Certification.

ISO 9001 certification is valid for how many years?

The validity time for ISO certification is 3 years. It will be given after strict ISO documentation review and ISO implementation review.More info on NGO Registration in india.

Can a Trustee take salary from trust fund?

Drawing very high amounts than the allotted market rate is illegal. Compensation for professional Trust works is allowable within the rate.Being a Trustee doesn’t permit drawing compensation.More about Udyog Aadhar Registration.

 

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FSSAI Guidelines for E-commerce Food Operators

5060
As per the guidelines, food business owners or employers should have a COVID 19 screening protocol in place to screen all personnel entering the premises. Those with temperature more than 99 degree Fahrenheit and/or flu like symptoms should not be allowed to enter establishments.

 

FSSAI has extended its scope to include the applications of e-commerce food services. This category includes delivery services such as Uber Eats, Swiggy and Zomato and online grocery stores such as Grofers, Big Basket, etc. Of late, the food e-commerce sector has grown tremendously. As these platforms operate widely, it is important for these services to ensure compliance with FSSAI, which could be tough.

FSSAI has recently extended its scope to cover the operations of e-commerce food enterprises. Lately, e-commerce food enterprises be it delivery groups (Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats) or other online grocery stores (Big Basket, Grofers etc) has grown tremendously. Considering these E-commerce platforms operate widely, ensuring compliance becomes difficult. FSSAI itself acknowledged in 2018 that e-Commerce platforms often list a high percentage of such restaurants which do not have a valid registration under FSSAI. There are a variety of guidelines, pertaining to a different aspect of an e-commerce food enterprise. They relate to registration, licensing, listing information, etc. Here is a brief list of all the guidelines issued by FSSAI relating to the e-commerce food operators:

Explore our legal help services to protect your intellectual property, secure funding from Venture Capitalists & comply with the many regulations of the MCA information and resources to help you through your end to end business requirement.

 

As per the guidelines laid down by the FSSAI for e-commerce business operators, there are two types of business model.

  1. Market-Based Model of E-Commerce: It refers to an e-commerce activity that acts as a link between the buyer and seller by providing a digital platform for networking. It connects the brand owner and the consumer via an electronic means.
  2. Inventory-Based Model of E-Commerce: An e-commerce activity where the inventory of food products and food services is owned by e-commerce FBO and is sold to the customers directly online.

Who all are E-Commerce Food Business Operators?

  • Digital Platforms or such entities which are involved in listing services to all the sellers, manufacturers, restaurants, etc. on their electronic/online platform. This platform is used to facilitate like-structured commerce operations. Eg: Zomato.
  • When brand owners, manufacturers, producers or sellers themselves involved in the display of their products or services (catering, processing or packaging) for direct sale to customers via either a market-based or an inventory-based e-commerce platform. Eg: Fresh Menu
  • Delivery Organizations (like Swiggy) also come under the definition of an e-commerce FBO because it extends the facility of storage and or distribution services to the sellers thus listed on their online portal. It covers transportation from the seller or manufacturer to the consumer directly.

Apply For FSSAI Registration

Licensing and Registration Requirement:

The 2011 regulation of FSSAI on Licensing and Registration of Food Business mandates all those e-commerce FBOs that are covered within the First Schedule of the said regulation to obtain a license for its operations. Such licenses are issued by the Central Licensing Authority. Recently, in late 2018, when a video of a Zomato Delivery Agent eating food to be delivered went viral, FSSAI issued new guidelines directing all e-commerce FBOs to engage only trained delivery personnel for last mile delivery. This was done in order to maintain food quality and food safety. The mandatory licensing and registration requirement does not hold true for such e-commerce FBOs which are involved in extending directory services or listing of products and services. However, they are required to clearly give the disclaimer that any violation of FSS and obligation arising therein rests with the sellers, brand owners, vendors, importers or manufacturers of the food products.

Moreover, these FBOs require to show compliance with the following guidelines:

  • Not provide any false claims or misleading information pertaining to the sellers, brand owners, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, vendors or other importers.
  • Not to display any misleading images of food products or food-related services.

Listing and other Information related Guidelines:

E-Commerce FBOs including sellers, brand owners, vendors, manufacturers etc. who are involved in selling pre-packed food to the customers via either the market based or the inventory based model, requires adherence to the following guidelines:

  1. Display legibly and clearly the display panel which must not include the batch number or lot number, best before, expiry date and the Maximum Retail Price of the product.
  • Provide for an indicative image of the product that is to be sold via their e-commerce FBO platform.
  • Clearly, state the FSSAI License of the platform or the registration number.
  • Provide other information relating to the product or services that shall be made available
  • In order to maintain a basic level of quality and hygiene of the food products and services, every e-commerce FBO shall comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses], Regulations 2011. The guidelines are stated in Regulation IV of the said regulation.

Recently, due to increased consumer awareness, FSSAI has also given directions to e-commerce FBOs to put in place a complaint redressal mechanism. FSSAI has clearly stated that the redressal of complaints launched by the consumers must be within a given timeline, prescribed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Back in 2018, FSSAI acknowledged that e-commerce food services list a high percentage of restaurants that are not registered and compliant with FSSAI. Due to increased awareness among consumers, FSSAI has issued directions to the e-commerce food businesses to be compliant with the regulations. And, it has been instructed that they should resolve complaints from customers within a specified timeline.

Read Also: What happens when you don’t have a FSSAI license?

Can GST be refunded? When can GST refund be claimed?

RFD-01 is the guide that would help to make use of the GST portal for claiming your refund money in the case of extra GST payments. Understand the procedure for GST registration and GST returns here.

What is the support available for collateral free borrowing?

The support provided by the government for the MSMEs to get collateral-free loans resolves the issue of non-availability of adequate credit.More on Income Tax Return Filing.

My employer deducts and deposits TDS on my behalf. Do I still need to file my Income Tax Return?

Filing the income tax by the employee offers several benefits in knowing about the refund and pending amount with the income tax department.Learn more about ISO Certification.

ISO 9001 certification is valid for how many years?

The validity time for ISO certification is 3 years. It will be given after strict ISO documentation review and ISO implementation review.More info on NGO Registration in india.

Can a Trustee take salary from trust fund?

Drawing very high amounts than the allotted market rate is illegal. Compensation for professional Trust works is allowable within the rate.Being a Trustee doesn’t permit drawing compensation.More about Udyog Aadhar Registration.

 

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FAQs

FSSAI has recently extended its scope to cover the operations of e-commerce food enterprises. Lately, e-commerce food enterprises be it delivery groups (Top food delivery companies in India) or other online grocery stores. FSSAI has also given directions to e-commerce FBOs to put in place a complaint redressal mechanism.

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