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What Does FBO Mean in FSSAI (food licensing)?

Within the ambit of FSSAI, the word FBO is an acronym that stands for Food Business Operators. As the name suggests, the FBOs include individuals or organizations that are involved in the food business. FBO includes but is not limited to the various manufacturers, producers, caterers, those involved in the importing and exporting of food items, etc.

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What Does FBO Mean in FSSAI (food licensing) : Introduction

The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is a legal body that issues food licenses to various operators who are involved in businesses pertaining to the manufacturing, processing, storing, trading, catering, packing and labeling, sale, exports, and imports of food and other edible items. Individuals or organizations thus involved in handling food or food items at various stages before it reaches the customers are referred to as FBOs or Food Business Operators. A 14-digit registration or a license number is given by the FSSAI to the FBOs and the number is required to be printed on the packages of the respective products. The type of registration basically depends on factors like the size of the production, turnover, nature of activities involved etc of the FBO.

Once the FBOs are compliant with the rules stipulated by the FSSAI, the food safety certificate is issued to the FSSAI. A number of operators like traders, manufacturers, restaurants, grocery vendors, importers, and exporters are mandated to hold an FSSAI license. When an individual or an establishment holds an FSSAI license, it is an assurance that the products they deal with, have undergone the stipulated quality checks, thereby reducing the chances of delivering adulterated or substandard products.

FBOs Who Have to Procure an FSSAI License:

The Food Business Operators in the following lines of business are mandated to hold an FSSAI license:

  •   Small retail shops dealing with the production and sale of snacks, confectionery, or bakery items
  •   Food stalls that are permanently operational or fixed temporarily and are involved in the preparation, distribution, storage, and sale of products such as chat shops, golgappa stalls, vegetable and fruit vendors, coffee and tea shops, snacks stalls, bread pakkoda stalls, samosa shops, chinese noodles shops, South Indian tiffin stalls, sweet and juice shops etc
  •   Hawkers preparing fresh food on the move and selling the same using movable carts
  •   Milk vendors, milk chilling units, Milkmen who deliver milk and milk products on a daily basis
  •   Various processing units dealing with the processing of vegetable oil, meat, fish, etc
  •   Slaughtering houses that provide meat such as mutton, chicken, lamb meat, etc
  •   Manufacturing and processing units that handle repacking of food
  •   Establishments that deal with proprietary or novel food
  •   Facilities that carry out storage using cold processing techniques for food items
  •   Individuals or organizations that handle the transport of food items using specialized vehicles such as refrigerated vans or wagons, tankers that carry milk, food wagons and trucks, etc
  •   Wholesale or retail suppliers, distributors, individuals, and organizations that handle the marketing of newly launched food products
  •   Common places such as hotels, restaurants, bars, snack kiosks
  •   Canteens, mid-day meal outlets, and cafeterias
  •   Agencies dealing with food vending
  •   Outlets like banquet halls, dhabas, caterers, home-based bakers and food outlets, food stalls in fairs and religious establishments
  •   Various import and export agencies dealing with food and other edible items
  •   Cloud kitchens and e-commerce food suppliers.

 What Does FBO Mean in FSSAI (food licensing)?: Eligibility of FBOs to Acquire FSSAI License

The registration of the various FBOs can be segregated into three broad categories.

  •   FSSAI Central Licensing (Large Scale Food Businesses)
  •   FSSAI State Licensing (Medium Scale Food Businesses)
  •   Basic Registration (Petty Food Business).

FBOs with an annual turnover of more than ₹20 crores and those that are large scale manufacturers, individuals, and organizations dealing with imports and exports need to procure the FSSAI registration from the Central Government. FBOs having an annual turnover of more than ₹ 12 lakh, and those that are small and medium-sized units like traders, storage warehouses, marketers, those dealing with the transport of food items, etc are required to apply for the FSSAI license from the State Government. The basic registration is for the units that have a turnover of less than Rs.12 lakh annually. The FBOs that opt for basic registration will have to fill out Form A and those opting for State and Central Government registration have to opt for form B.

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Procedure for FBOs to Obtain an FSSAI License:

The following procedure must be followed by the FBOs to make an application for the FSSAI license.

Step 1:The FBOs can make the application online through the FoSCos portal. The FBOs are required to fill out form A (Basic registration) or form B (For acquiring State or Central Government license) and submit the same to the Food and Safety department

Step 2: The application for the FSSAI registration shall be accompanied by the stipulated mandatory documents. The documents can be uploaded to the FoSCos portal along with form A or form B. The application and the mandatory set of documents can also be furnished physically to the Food and Safety department

Step 3: Depending upon the accuracy of the filing, the registration can be accepted or rejected. The same is conveyed within 7 days from the date of application through online or physical mode after scrutinizing the application and the documents submitted by the applicant

Step 4: If necessary, the department carries out a quick inspection of the premises of the FBO before granting the license

Step 5: The department, on being satisfied with the compliances met by the FBO, grants the FSSAI registration certificate with the 14-digit registration number. The certificate can also be downloaded from the FoSCos portal. After having obtained the certificate, the FBO is required to display the FSSAI registration certificate prominently at the place of business during business hours.

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