FSSAI has issued an advisory on the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and listed out punishable offenses under the Act. Find out more here.
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare administers India’s Food Safety and Standard Authority (FSSAI). They are responsible and held accountable to execute the FSS act. This licence ensures the government that all food processors and manufacturers abide by rules and regulations during their operations. The FSSAI has designed a set of rules and regulations to obtain the licence to function their business. Failure to follow the guide will result in punishable offences under the FSSAI food licence. All must abide by rules under the food safety and standards act.
The Entire Registration Is According to Business Category and Income:
- FSSAI State License – For businesses with annual revenues from ₹12 lakh to ₹20 crores.
- FSSAI Central License – For businesses with a turnover of more than ₹20 crores.
The food business operator recommends the suitable licence type. The FSSAI Act is entrusted with the task of keeping a close eye on the offences committed by food manufacturers operating as a private limited company, one person company, or limited company and deciding on appropriate penalties.
Under the act, all individuals involved in the offence, as well as the company, are deemed guilty and legal action is taken against them. When a company has multiple branches, the Head Office is held responsible for the misconduct.
List of Punishable Offences Under the FSSAI Act
The following are the offences that are punishable under the FSSAI:
- Food that is of poor quality is being sold or manufactured.
- Food product misbranding
- Inaccurate information and advertising
- Additives in the food that aren’t required without a licence, you can’t run a business.
- Failure to follow food safety standards and the Food Safety Officer’s instructions
- Conditions in the producing or processing units are unsanitary.
- Any Infractions possession of adulterant
- Hazardous product
- False information dissemination
- Interference from confiscated items
- Obstruction of a food safety officer or Impersonation of a food safety officer
- Penalties for repeat offences
- Import/export of food products in violation of provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act
The following are examples of situations in which the food industry must compensate:
- Injury to a consumer due to ingestion of products.
- A consumer’s death results from such a business’s consumption of its product.
Penalties Under FSSAI
- Selling/manufacturing sub-standard food: Any enterprise selling or manufacturing any food product, whether by themselves or on behalf of the seller/manufacturer, will be fined up to ₹5 lakh rupees if they store, distribute, or manufacture any article of consumable food product that is of sub-standard quality.
- Misbranding of food products: Any business selling or manufacturing food products, whether by themselves or on behalf of the seller/manufacturer, for storage, selling, or distributing a food product that is found to be misbranded, will be fined ₹3 lakh. In such cases, the adjudicating officer has the authority to order the guilty person to take corrective action.
- Misleading information and advertising: Any individual or business that deceptively describes a product or misleads consumers about the product’s quality or results will be fined ₹10 lakh.
- Unnecessary ingredients in food: Any food item that contains extraneous elements and is sold, stored, or distributed will be fined up to ₹1 lakh. Only the required additives and a proper composition should be present in the product.
- Operating a business without a licence: Any food business operator who tries to run a business without a proper FSSAI licence either directly or through someone acting on their behalf will be fined up to ₹5 lakh and imprisoned for up to six months. According to Subsection 2, section 31, some business owners are exempt from the mandatory licensing requirements.
- Failing to comply with Food Safety regulations and directions of the Food Safety Officer: Any food business operator who fails to comply with the FSSAI rules and regulations, or the principles issued by such officer without giving any reasonable reason for non-compliance, will be fined ₹2 lakh.
- Unsanitary conditions in manufacturing or processing units: Any business that manufactures or processes food in unsanitary conditions, whether directly or indirectly, faces a penalty of up to ₹1 lakh.
- Possession of Adulterant: If a food business operator is in possession of any adulterant that is harmful to one’s health, the penalty is up to ₹10 lakh, the penalty is up to Rs 2 lakh in case the adulterant is not injurious to health.
- Any Contraventions: There is no specified penalty for this offence, but the penalty is generally up to ₹2 lakh.
- Unsafe product: Any enterprise either directly or indirectly uses hazardous food products, which results in:
- Death – imprisonment of not less than seven years + fine of up to ₹10 lakh shall be imposed as a penalty
- Grievous injury: A fine amount of ₹5 lakhs and 6 years of imprisonment as the retribution
- Injury: Detention of 1 year and fine up to ₹3 lakh as forfeiture
- No injury: Imprisonment of six months and a fine up to ₹1 lakh will be imposed as a penalty.
- Circulating false information: You may face jail time of up to three months, and a fine of up to ₹2 lakh will be levied on any business either directly or indirectly circulating false news.
- Interference of confiscated items: Any individual/business that tries to keep, release or fiddle with the seized entity will face imprisonment up to six months with a fine of up to ₹2 lakhs
- Obstruction or Impersonation of a Food Safety Officer without any reasonable excuse: In this case, the penalty is imprisonment up to three months and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.
- Subsequent offences:
- Recurrence lawbreakers will be sentenced with twice the penalty imposed the first time.
- The licence may be cancelled.
- If the offence is executed regularly, the punishment has to be routinely faced too.
Every person has a right to a healthy life, and every product fit for human consumption could perhaps meet the highest possible standards. Penalties and punishments are an excellent way to prevent any potential irregularities. To encourage proper compliance, all punishable offences under the FSSAI carry severe penalties.
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