New Food Labelling Regulations Related to Packaged Food Products
On August 23, 2006, India’s government passed the Food Safety and Standard Act or the FSS Act. The FSSAI, i.e., Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, was entrenched under this act. This act is meant to cover or carry out operations related to setting the standard of food articles. This crucial step changed the businesses way involved in food articles in India. The FSSAI standards are based on scientific research. They help regulate the storage, manufacture, sale, import-export, distribution and making all types of other food articles available to the general population.
The FSSAI published new food labelling regulations related to packaged food products, based on the recommendations of the expert group.
What it is about?
The following provisions are described in the scientific document:
- Chapter 1: – Prescribes pre-packaged foods labelling requirements and displays essential information on-premises where food is processed, served, manufactured, and stored. Several definitions have been listed under the context otherwise requires.
- Chapter 2: – covers the general requirement of labelling pre-packaged foods such as food name, list of ingredients, calculation of nutrients, and nutritional information. Declaration of name and complete address, lot/code/batch identification, Date marking, a declaration regarding food additives, retail sale price, FSSAI logo, and license no., Net quantity and consumer care details. Etc.
- Chapter 3: – contains a display of information in the food service establishment of the Regulation.
- Chapter 4: – has the non-retail container labelling requirements.
- Chapter 5:- Of Regulation indicates the labelling of packaged food additives for retail sale. Mandatory labelling declaration for various food products has been set out in schedule 2.
When is it going to be implemented?
India’s Food safety standards Authority published a “Food Safety and Standards (labelling and display), Regulation 2020 gazette notification on December 14. 2020. The Regulation shall come into force from the date of their disclosure in the Official Gazette. All the Regulation provisions should comply with all the Food Business Operator after one year from their disclosure date except chapter-3 of this Regulation. Food Business Operator shall comply with this by January 1, 2022.
What are the concerns related to this?
Industry concerns: –
- There has been a concern by the food industry giants regarding the bigger size fonts to be used in the principal display panels.
- The industrial bodies have complained that it is not feasible for them to use expiration date similar to that of the pharmaceutical industry. They would like to stick to the ‘Best before date.’ for this purpose.
- The guidelines dictate the menu cards calorific value to the cafe chains and restaurants with more than ten outlets.
- Further, the guidelines mention that all the E-platform food and beverage sales should communicate the essential requirement to the consumers before the deal, which includes (batch date, best before date, expiry date, and packaging date).