The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently drafted the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2020. There are 70 amendments to the FSSAI Act, 2006 introduced by the bill. A simplified notice-serving process has been implemented in one of these amendments.
India is a massive country which is home to numerous cultures which have their own culinary and nutritive cultures. This has directly influenced the food industry of India which is a sprawling mega-industry with endless players in the market. Now, let’s see the Difference Between FPO and FSSAI?
There are so many companies in the Indian food market that it becomes hard to regulate such a massive, nationwide industry. And when it comes to such an influential market which specifically deals with consumers and the public, safety and health concerns always arise. And this is especially true for the food industry. Any wrong product, which is unsafe for consumption can cause massive damages to society if it is launched in the market.
To regulate this large market and maintain consumer safety. The Indian government for a long time has had several provisions and regulations in place to regulate industry standards and safety measures.
Why is there a need for the Food Safety and Standards Regulation?
Defective products can adversely affect your body and well being in a very harmful and sometimes critical way. Imagine this, you just consumed a product containing an ingredient that caused you mild food poisoning. Even if you are the only one affected, the level of harm this could cause to society and the consumer base can be seen if this food poisoning affects everyone who consumes this product.
Perhaps the best example of consuming food without regulations and safety standards can be of the Coronavirus which spread from a ghetto market of Wuhan. Researchers claimed that the virus spread through consumption of various animals which are not generally safe for human consumption.
Now that you have a visualised image of how damaging it can be, to have an unregulated food industry. Let’s see what measures India has been taking to organise and regulate the Indian Food Industry.
FPO and its History
The Indian government used to regulate the food industry with several marks, registrations, and certificates before FSSAI. FPO was one of those. FPO’s full form means the ‘Fruit Products Order’. For food businesses that manufacture fruits and vegetables, it served as a health safety and hygiene regulation. Manufacturers of processed foods made from fruit and vegetables were required to register with the FPO.
FPO was in action since 1955 and had pretty much become a defunct order. In 2006, under the new Food Safety and Standards Act, all previous registrations, certificates and licenses lost their legal status. And, FSSAI became the sole safety standard and regulation for the entire food industry across India.
In 2006, India passed the Food Safety and Standards act. This is mandatory for every business which classifies as a food business to audit. Further, to inspect and approve as a source of food which is safe for human consumption. This act mandated the unification of all previous food agencies into one governing body, which we know as FSSAI.
FSSAI is the primary regulator and governing body of the food industry in India. The full form of FSSAI is – Food Safety and Standards Association of India. Since 2006, FSSAI acts as the de facto governing body and every new food business has to first get itself registered and audited by FSSAI to be legally operational in India.
How does FSSAI work?
FSSAI has a decentralised structure. Every state has its branch of FSSAI which works in coordination with the local municipal corporation of that region. It governs and regulates the food industry by setting up food quality standards. Further, safety regulations, which become mandatory for every registered business to follow. Any food business which does not cooperate and follow FSSAI guidelines loses its approved status and cannot function legally.
FSSAI and Certification
The food industry like any business industry has shops, establishments and organisations of many different sizes. For example, a local street restaurant can be classified as a small business. Whereas a popular fast-food chain can categorise as a medium to large-size business. On the other hand, there are truly large business corporations such as FMCG goods manufacturers and Hoteliers.
In certification, the business size is very important. This is because a small business will not need as many regulations as a large business. Hence, FSSAI offers three levels of registration.
- FSSAI Certificate – For establishments with a turnover of less than 12 Lakh
- Moreover, FSSAI License – For establishments with turnover between 12 Lakhs and 20 Crore
- FSSAI Central License – For establishments with turnover more than 20 Crore
As a modern food business, your only concern should be the safety of your customers, hygiene standards, and health standards of food preparation. By getting an FSSAI Certificate, the standard of food safety and hygiene in the Indian food industry, you can ensure this. Learn more about Vakilsearch by contacting the best experts.