FSSAI was established under Food Safety and Standards(FSS) Act,2006 which consolidates various acts and orders that handle food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
- FSSAI was created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
- FSSAI was established by Former Union Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss on 05 August 2011
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI.
- Headquarter of FSSAI is located at New Delhi.
For detailed information Click here
Genesis and Evolution of FSSAI
The Government of India introduced the Food Safety and Standards Act on the 23rd August 200 to regulate the food being put out and to check it for the safety of consumption. Before implementation of the Food Safety and Standard Act, there were many food acts in the country,
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Vegetable and Oil(Control) Order,1947
- Edible Oil Packaging (Regulation) Order,1988
- Milk and Milk Products, 1992
These were repealed after commencement of FSS Act,2006. FSSAI was consequently established in 2008 but work within the Food Authority effectively began in 2011 after its Rules and key Regulations were notified. This marked a shift from multilevel to a single line of control with focus on self compliance rather than a pure regulatory regime.
There are two Schedules given at the end of the Act. While the First Schedule contains the five zones into which all the States and UTs have been grouped, the Second Schedule contains the Act and various orders which stand repealed with the coming into force of this Act.
Basic Principles of Food Safety in FSSAI
- Perform Risk Management which will take into account the result of risk assessment and other factors which help the regulatory authorities.
- In cases where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a food may present a risk for human health, then depending on the nature, seriousness and extent of that risk, the Food Authority and the Commissioner of Food Safety shall take appropriate steps eliminate that risk.
- If any food of a batch fails to comply with the food safety requirements, it shall be presumed until the contrary is proved, that all of the food in that batch, lot of consignment fails to comply with those requirements.
Analysis of Food
The detailed procedure for the analysis of food has the following provisions,
- Recognition and accreditation of laboratories, research institutions as well as referal food laboratory
- Recognition of orgnisation or agency of food safety audit
- Food Analysts
- Sampling and Analysis
Functions of FSSAI
The important functions of FSSAI:
- Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate systems of enforcing various standards thus notified.
- Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food businesses.
- Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
- To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
- Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert systems.
- Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc. receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
- Provide training Programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
- Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and Phyto-sanitary standards.
- Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
Structure of FSSAI
- The FSSAI comprises a chairperson and twenty two members out of which one third are to be women.
- The chairperson of FSSAI is appointed by the Central Government.
- The chairperson of FSSAI is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
- The food Authority is assisted by Scientific Committees and Panels in setting standards and the Central Advisory Committee in coordinating with enforcement agencies.
- The primary responsibility for enforcement is largely with the State Food Safety Commissioners. ‘Commissioners of Food Safety’ are appointed under section 30.
Challenges in FSSAI
- Lack of infrastructure such as food testing laboratories. There are only 87 National Accreditation Board for testing and calibration laboratories (NABL) accredited Labs, whereas there are more than 1500 private labs in India.
- Shortage of qualified manpower and functional food testing equipment in state food laboratories.
- There is an acute shortage of licensing and enforcement officers in the states which severely affected food safety measures.
- There are only 377 products mentioned in the FSSAI regulations, whereas other countries have over 10000 standards. Moreover, the list is not regularly reviewed.
FSSAI – Current Affairs
- As per FSSAI study, India is all set and is on the right track to become industrial trans fat-free by 2022.
- On September 2,2021 Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) awarded a 5-star ‘Eight Right Station’ certification to the Chandigarh Railway Station.
- A conditional licensing framework for proprietary food products has been proposed by FSSAI.
- Recently rules have been amended by FSSAI to put a cap on trans fatty acids (TFAs) in food products.