Need of FSSAI Food License for Food Businesses in India

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Need of FSSAI Food License for Food Businesses in India


Every day, more than a hundred businesses are launched that work around food – from dairy and meat to vegetables, spices, and beverages. But does anybody really know whether the eatables coming on to our plates are palatable? The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license is aimed at doing just that. The basic legislative intent behind introducing food license is to keep a tab on the quality of the output of food products. As it is an accepted fact that food has got increased of chances of getting contaminated due to reasons like unhygienic processing, improper collection, exposure to temperature and air or when it is being sold past it shelf life, a governing body to regulate the industry practice was needed. Hence, the FSSAI undertakes scientific food safety management and works closely with businesses to ensure that the food that is made available to people is safe for human consumption.

Who needs an FSSAI license?

Irrespective of whether the individual is an owner of a commercial unit or is a home-based food supplier, whether the mode is online or offline, all eligible businesses in the food spectrum, from manufacturers, retailers, storage and transporters, distributors will require this license. Since the scope is very wide, it covers all food service providers, including hotels, restaurants, boarding houses, clubs etc. serving food, canteens of offices and educational institutions, caterers, banquet halls with food catering arrangements, food vendors like dabbawalas etc.

The FSSAI license is usually issued by the State Government. However, for food operators that operate in more than one state, the Head Office needs to apply for a Central license. Further, importers and exporters need to apply for the Central License.


What happens when you do not apply for an FSSAI license?


The following are the consequences of not possessing a valid FSSAI license:

1. The FSSAI logo:

The FSSAI symbol must not be used. While a small food business may still get away with not putting this logo, as consumers become more educated, these little validations can go a long way when it comes to the cut-throat competition that the food business witnesses.

2. Trouble obtaining credit:

Most investors, banks, or lenders will do a primary check to see if the applicant has got any basic licenses in order. Any business planning to scale to a greater level must apply for the license based on predicted sales/capacity.

3. Save money at the risk of reputation:

While some amount may be able to save on the annual fee (which is in the range of 2,000-5,000), but in the absence of this license, it may be very difficult to prove to customers that the particular business maintains high standards of hygiene in the processes.

4. Risking disqualification from food tenders:

Not possessing an FSSAI license may also make it difficult to apply for corporate events, fill tenders or make way to a larger set-up as most of these opportunities will stipulate the requirement of a valid FSSAI license.

5. Liability:

If any person or food business operator (except those exempted from licensing) who are mandatorily required to obtain a license, but manufacturers, trades, sells or distributes any food article without a license, then imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months and a fine which may extend to Rs. 5,00,000 may be levied.


Missing out on quality assessments:

Most importantly, as FSSAI aims to improve the standards for the wholesomeness of food, the State governments often review existing procedures for manufacturing/storage of food grains, milk, spices, meat and other consumables.

If a business owner does not apply for a license despite meeting eligibility guidelines, then he or she is potentially losing out on improving the procedures and standards of quality.

Know the food license category you should have to apply for your food business.

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If you've got all the documents and sign the authorisation letter immediately, it will take us three working days to file the application with the Registrar of Copyright in Delhi.

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