New FSSAI Advisory – No Toys Inside Food Packets

Last Updated at: January 08, 2020
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New FSSAI Advisory - No Toys Inside Food Packets

In a recent advisory issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), no manufacturers or sellers will be allowed to put free toys inside edible food packets. As kids, we have all been fond of free gifts inside chips and biscuit packets, some of us still are. In fact, Tazos, a round connectable disk became popular only after being introduced way back in the 1990s by Frito-Lays and its subsidiaries around the world; its Pokemon and Simpson tazos being preserved in some toy museums.

In this post, we highlight what led to the success of this massive marketing campaign and also analyse the safety reasons that formed the basis of the FSSAI advisory against it.

Free toys – A Marketing Tool

Fast-moving consumer goods catering to the young market found an innovative way to attract customers – free toys, stationery, accessories and gifts. Not only did these prove to be immensely successful in boosting sales, partnerships ensuing between cartoon production companies, toy-making companies and stationery brands added to the utility that the combination offered. Not to forget, the psychological effect of getting more for less also added to the movement behind packaging toys inside packaged food. Kids also found themselves racing to finish chips and get to the end of the bag for their prized possessions, and including a set of cards or toy variants collectable in different bags only meant extra sales.

Get FSSAI for Your Food Business

‘Unsafe Food’ under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006  – The mandate of FSSAI

The Food Safety and Standard Act was passed in the year 2006 with an objective of promoting healthy standards in the food industry. It envisaged the creation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food. The FSSAI was given power over-regulation of the manufacture of food,

The Food Safety and Standard Act was passed in the year 2006 with an objective of promoting healthy standards in the food industry. It envisaged the creation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food. The FSSAI has the power to regulate the manufacturer of food, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The FSSAI thus assumed the status of a significant autonomous body working under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, contributing to setting important health and safety standards for the food industry. It is in furtherance of this objective that the FSSAI came out with a prohibitory advisory against the packaging of toys and food together.

The Section 3(1) zz(xi) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 defines “unsafe food” as an article of food whose nature, substance or quality is so affected as to render it injurious to health by virtue of its being misbranded or sub-standard or food containing extraneous matter.

Plastic toys – A safety hazard 

The FSSAI in its advisory note mentions the need for discouraging manufacturers from packing food and toys in the same package. After almost three decades of plastic packaging and plastic toys being around our food, it was realised that the risk of contamination was high. But more importantly, since chocolates, chips, biscuits and other products that usually offered these gifts were likely to be around infants and young children, the risk of choking and accidental ingestion was a major safety hazard.

The advisory note also mentions that the colour, texture, shape or other characteristics of the free promotional gift should not, in any way resemble the actual food contents of the food package in order to prevent accidental swallowing and the consequent threat of choking. Thus, including a tazo that is almost as thin and round as chips, may no longer be allowed. It is however allowed to sell the toys and the food product as two separate packagings. Just that one might have to be extra careful to ask the retailer for the free gift, as it is quite common for retail shops to skip giving complimentary items while billing a bulk of goods.

 

 

New FSSAI Advisory – No Toys Inside Food Packets

739

In a recent advisory issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), no manufacturers or sellers will be allowed to put free toys inside edible food packets. As kids, we have all been fond of free gifts inside chips and biscuit packets, some of us still are. In fact, Tazos, a round connectable disk became popular only after being introduced way back in the 1990s by Frito-Lays and its subsidiaries around the world; its Pokemon and Simpson tazos being preserved in some toy museums.

In this post, we highlight what led to the success of this massive marketing campaign and also analyse the safety reasons that formed the basis of the FSSAI advisory against it.

Free toys – A Marketing Tool

Fast-moving consumer goods catering to the young market found an innovative way to attract customers – free toys, stationery, accessories and gifts. Not only did these prove to be immensely successful in boosting sales, partnerships ensuing between cartoon production companies, toy-making companies and stationery brands added to the utility that the combination offered. Not to forget, the psychological effect of getting more for less also added to the movement behind packaging toys inside packaged food. Kids also found themselves racing to finish chips and get to the end of the bag for their prized possessions, and including a set of cards or toy variants collectable in different bags only meant extra sales.

Get FSSAI for Your Food Business

‘Unsafe Food’ under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006  – The mandate of FSSAI

The Food Safety and Standard Act was passed in the year 2006 with an objective of promoting healthy standards in the food industry. It envisaged the creation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food. The FSSAI was given power over-regulation of the manufacture of food,

The Food Safety and Standard Act was passed in the year 2006 with an objective of promoting healthy standards in the food industry. It envisaged the creation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food. The FSSAI has the power to regulate the manufacturer of food, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The FSSAI thus assumed the status of a significant autonomous body working under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, contributing to setting important health and safety standards for the food industry. It is in furtherance of this objective that the FSSAI came out with a prohibitory advisory against the packaging of toys and food together.

The Section 3(1) zz(xi) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 defines “unsafe food” as an article of food whose nature, substance or quality is so affected as to render it injurious to health by virtue of its being misbranded or sub-standard or food containing extraneous matter.

Plastic toys – A safety hazard 

The FSSAI in its advisory note mentions the need for discouraging manufacturers from packing food and toys in the same package. After almost three decades of plastic packaging and plastic toys being around our food, it was realised that the risk of contamination was high. But more importantly, since chocolates, chips, biscuits and other products that usually offered these gifts were likely to be around infants and young children, the risk of choking and accidental ingestion was a major safety hazard.

The advisory note also mentions that the colour, texture, shape or other characteristics of the free promotional gift should not, in any way resemble the actual food contents of the food package in order to prevent accidental swallowing and the consequent threat of choking. Thus, including a tazo that is almost as thin and round as chips, may no longer be allowed. It is however allowed to sell the toys and the food product as two separate packagings. Just that one might have to be extra careful to ask the retailer for the free gift, as it is quite common for retail shops to skip giving complimentary items while billing a bulk of goods.

 

 

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Avani Mishra is a graduate in law from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal. She qualified the Company Secretary course with an All India Rank 1 and is a recipient of the President’s Gold Medal for her academic distinctions. She also holds a B.Com degree with a specialization in Corporate Affairs and Administration.