Food Safety Regulations Circulars- Updates Compliance Management for March, 2022

FOOD SECTOR / INDUSTRY IN

The Indian food industry is poised for huge growth, increasing its contribution to world food trade every year. Food is as essential for living as air is for breathing. But food security means something more than getting two square meals. In India, the food sector has emerged as a high-growth and high-profit sector due to its immense potential for value addition, particularly within the food processing industry.
Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is a statutory body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.

 Spices Board of India
Spices Board is the flagship organization for the development and worldwide promotion of Indian spices. The Board is an international link between the Indian exporters and the importers abroad.

  3 Mandatory Testing for Ethylene Oxide and Official Certificate for export of spices to the European Union (EU)- Advisory on Ready To Eat (RTE) products, Issuance of Test reports for counter samples of consignments shipped before 06 January 2022 & Clarification on applicability of ETO Official Certificate for UK-reg   Click Here 
4 Revised Schedule for conducting e-auctions at E-auction Centre at Puttady & Bodinayakanur from 21.02.2022 to 02.03.2022 Click Here 
5 Empanelment of Manufacturer/fabricator of Post Harvest Machinaries/device under the programme of Spices Board. Click Here 
Sl. Particulars Relevant Link (s) 
1 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Regulatory action against malpractices in disposal of Used Cooking Oil [Updated on:28-01-2022] Click Here 
2 Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Amendment Regulation related to non-transparent packaging material for water [Updated on:27-01-2022] Click Here 
3 Validity of FSSAI recognized Food Testing Laboratories as on 31st January 2022 [Updated on:01-02-2022] Click Here 
4 Preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID- 19 and suspension of bio-metric attendance in FSSAI [Updated on:01-02-2022] Click Here 
5 Declaration of percentage () contribution to Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for different age groups [Updated on:03-02-2022] Click Here 
6 Appointment of FSSAIs Designated Officer for Central Licensing under Section 36 of FSS Act, 2006 [Updated on:10-02-2022] Click Here 
7 Approved list of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) conditions as per the provision 16(1)(e) of FSS (Foods for Infant Nutrition) Regulations, 2020 [Updated on:10-02-2022] Click Here 
8 Extension of validity of the NOC for the Alcoholic Beverages Bottled in Origin & in Bulk [Updated on:18-02-2022] Click Here 
9 Gazette Notification of Referral Laboratory [Updated on:18-02-2022] Click Here 
10 Food Safety and Standards (Import) Amendment Regulations related to sampling of food imported for captive use or production of value added products for hundred per cent exports [Updated on:18-02-2022] Click Here 
11 Report of IIM, Ahmedabad on survey for Consumer preferences for different nutrition front-of-pack labels in India [Updated on:22-02-2022] Click Here 
12 Minutes of the stakeholders meeting on Front-of-Pack Labelling held on 15.02.2022 [Updated on:22-02-2022] Click Here 
13 Disposal of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) [Updated on:23-02-2022] Click Here 
 14 Appointment of FSSAIs Designated Officer for Central Licensing under Section 36 of FSS Act, 2006 for Southern Regional Office [Updated on:24- 02-2022]  Click Here 
15 Validity of FSSAI recognized Food Testing Laboratories as on 24th February 2022 [Updated on:24-02-2022] Click Here 
  1. FSSAI Asks FBOs to Maintain Records on Disposal of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) 

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) with the approval of all the Competent Authorities has stated that all the Food Business Operators(FBO’s) whose consumption of edible oil and fats for frying is more than 50 liters per day should maintain the records mentioned below and dispose UCO to agencies such as manufacturers of biodiesel soap, lubricant, candles etc. primarily authorized by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India or Commissioner of Food Safety of States/UTs in a timely manner. 

This is reference to the FSSAI’s order number 1-2/Stds/0&F/Notification n(11)/FSSAI-2018 dated 30th January, 2019 on the subject “Directions under Section 16(5) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 regarding disposal of Used Cooking Oil (UCO)“. 

Key Notification in Brief:

  1. FSSAI issues Gazette Notification on Amendment Regulations Related to Sampling of Food Imported for Production  of  Value Added products for 100 per cent exports 

The draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Import) Amendment Regulations, 2021, were published vide notification of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India number F. No. 1605/FSSAI/Import/2016(pt-2), dated the 4th March, 2021, in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4 as required under sub- section (1) of section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (34 of 2006). It invited objections and suggestions from persons likely to be affected thereby, within a period of thirty days from the date on which the copies of the Official Gazette containing the said notification were made available to the public. 

Notably, the copies of the Gazette   were made available to the public on 9th March, 2021. The objections and suggestions received from the public in respect of the said draft regulations have been considered by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

(FSSAI). 

  1. FSSAI to permit IEM food products import till further orders
    The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to extend the permission to import food products for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) until further orders. Imports of IEM foods listed by the FSSAI were allowed till March 31, 2022, through a notification in 2021.
    FSSAI in an order stated, “The Food Authority has approved the list of IEM conditions. The list will come into effect from 1st April 2022. Till such time, the direction issued on 30.06.2021 will continue to be in force”.
    The food authority was approached by the stakeholders seeking clarity on the issue related to the import of IEM food products. Under the FSS (Food for Infant Nutrition) Regulation 2020, no food business operator shall manufacture, market or import products for IEM conditions except those specified by the food authority.
  2. NOC for imported alcoholic beverage valid for 300 days: FSSAI
    The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has stated that the No Objection Certificate (NOC) for imported alcoholic beverage with 10 per cent alcohol shall be valid for 300 days. The order will be applicable on alcoholic beverages bottled in origin and in bulk.
    According to the direction, regarding extension of validity of NOC for alcoholic beverages bottled in origin and in bulk, FSSAI says that it has been decided that for imported consignments of alcoholic beverages bottled and in bulk containing more than 10 per cent alcohol which does not have an expiry date, the NOC issued as per the FSS Import Regulations 2017, shall have a validity of 300 days.

The applicability of the direction shall be until further order in this regard. FSSAI added that the decision was taken to facilitate the ease of doing business reforms.

  1. HRAWI collaborates with FSSAI, conducts FoSTaC programme
    The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), in collaboration with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), conducted an Online Food Safety Supervisory Training in Advance Catering (FoSTaC), programme on February 18, 2022. The training was conducted virtually by Dr V Pashupathy and had a participation of 20 hospitality professionals from various hotel and restaurant establishments.
    The programme focused on standard health and food handling practices for hospitality personnel and also covered information on licencing requirements of FSSAI, for hospitality establishments in the country.

 Compliance Mechanism under FSSAI
 FSSAI Extends Date of Compliance of Foods for Infants with IEM:

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) along with the approval of Competent Authorities has extended the timeline for compliance of standards for Infants with Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) specified under Food Safety and

Standards (Foods for Infant Nutrition Regulations 2020. The date is extended

Standards (Foods for Infant Nutrition Regulations 2020. The date is extended up to 01st April 2022. Notably, in this regard, a direction dated 30.06.2021 was issued to allow the import of food products for IEM conditions till 31.03.2022.

 Mandatory Compliance w.e.f. 1st April 2021
Online submission of Annual Returns on Food Safety Compliance System (FOSCOS – Click Here) shall be made mandatory for food businesses involved in manufacturing and importing of food products, wef FY 2020-21 (window for return filing for FY 2020-21 will open wef 1″ April 2021 onwards).

 Non submission of online Annual Returns through FoSCoS
 The timeline for submission of online annual yearly returns (D-1) for the period 2020-21 due for submission on or before 31st Ma
y, 2021 was extended till 31st August, 2021 (previously was extended till – 30th, June 2021)

Non submission of returns is a violation of condition no.5 of FSSAI License and shall attract a penalty of Rs. 100 per day after 31st August 2021.

 Corporate News

  1. Packaged foods to soon have a ‘Health Star’

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is starting a star rating system for packaged foods just like the bureau of energy efficiency has for electronic appliances. As per the ‘Health Star’ rating system, packaged foods will display the number of stars on the front of the pack, indicating how healthy or unhealthy it is depending upon the amount of salt, sugar and fat it has.
Health star rating was one of five types of labels that were considered, including traffic light signs, a nutrition score and warning symbols. It will be rolled out in the next few months. The authority is bringing in the regulation based on a report from Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad. Read more at: Click Here

  1. Hate mail floods FSSAI as critics see ‘green light’ for GM food in draft rules
    for import & sale
    Draft notification was brought out in November 2021. Last month, an addendum was proposed that would also include enzymes of GM origin in the list of items to be regulated.
    Three months after it released a draft notification for the regulation of import and sale of genetically modified (GM) food items, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is contending with several thousand hate emails clogging its inbox regularly, which far exceed the suggestions it had sought.
    The mails, from activists, accuse the FSSAI of legitimising GM foods “irrespective of the risks they pose”. The authority, meanwhile, feels that it is because there are concerns in some quarters about GM food items that regulations are necessary, to ensure that anything and everything that is GM is not sold in the country.
    “There is already quite some amount of GM items available, for example, we use GM soybean oil. Additionally, a lot of GM enzymes are used in the food industry. Unless we specify standards we cannot regulate. It is not as if they are not being sold now, when there are no regulations in place,” the official said. (Read More at: Click Here)
  2. Aspire to double spices exports to USD 10 bn in 5 yrs: Minister Piyush Goyal
    Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday appealed to the spices industry to focus on the quality of products and aspire to double exports to USD 10 billion in the next five years.
    In the last fiscal, the country exported spices and spices products worth about USD 5 billion.
    He also called for focus on packaging and branding of Indian spices as it would help in further pushing the exports, Financial Express reported.
    The minister said that instead of targeting USD 10 billion of exports by 2030, “let us aspire to double our exports to USD 10 billion in the next five years by 2027 and then further double our exports” by 2032, he said while interacting with farmers and exporters at an event organised for marking the foundation day of the Spices Board.
    Goyal said that though India is a global leader in spices, it is facing certain challenges when it comes to exports in the whole raw form. (Read More at: Click Here)
  3. MoFPI notifies continuation of Kissan Sampada Yojana scheme till ’26
    The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has issued a notice for continuation of the Central sector scheme PM Kissan Sampada Yojna (PMKSY) for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 ‘coterminous’ with the 15th Finance Commission cycle.
    MoFPI was informed by the Union Finance Ministry that the Union Cabinet has approved continuation of the Central sector umbrella scheme of PMKSY implemented by the MoFPI with an allocation of Rs 4,600 crore till March 31, 2026, or till further review, whichever is earlier. (Read More at: Click Here)

FSSAI CASE LAWS

PIL seeks direction to control production, distribution, consumption of intoxicating drinks, drugs
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Government of NCT of Delhi to prohibit/control the production, distribution, and consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs, which are injurious to health in order to secure the right to health, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The petition also seeks direction to the Government to Publish Health Warning on Liquor Bottles and Packages, alike health warning signs used on Cigarette packets, and advertise ‘Health and Environment Hazard’ of intoxicating drinks through electronic, print, and social media in order to secure citizen’s right to know, right to information and right to health, guaranteed under Article 21.
Plea further states that, Delhi has a total of 280 municipal wards and until 2015, there were only 250 liquor shops i.e. on an average, one liquor shop in every ward and 30 wards without liquor shop. But now State is planning to open three liquor shops in every ward, which is not only arbitrary and irrational but also offends rule of law and right to health guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
But it has been more than 3 years since the regulation came up for all manufacturers to comply with, still there is no sign of strict and sincere compliance with it. No health warning or proper display of liquor contents has been complied with. FSSAI has proved to be completely incompetent, the plea stated. (ANI) (To read more: Click Here

Suspension of M/s Sophisticated Industrial Materials Analytical Labs Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi —reg
M/s Sophisticated Industrial Materials Analytical Labs Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (FSSAI Reg No. 3/N/FSSAI/2014 and NABL “DC-5361) was recognized and notified by FSSAI in the Gazette Notification vide S.O. 3648 (E) dated 06th December, 2016 for chemical and biological scope of testing for the purpose of carrying out the analysis of food sample under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder.
It is noted that M/s Sophisticated Industrial Materials Analytical Labs Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi has bccn denied for accreditation/recognition and debarred by NABL from re-applying.
Thus, M/s Sophisticated Industrial Materials Analytical Labs Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi is hereby suspended w.e.f. 20th November, 2021, from carrying out analysis of samples under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder for a period of not less than six months or till the ‘debar from reapplying status of NABL is valid, whichever is earlier, as per the clause (iii) of sub regulation (1) of Regulation (10) read with

the sub-regulation (2) of Regulation (10) of Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulations, 2018.

 Register Grievance / Complaint

The FSSAI full name is the Food Safety and Standards Authority in India. It is a government organization which issues the license required to run a food business. Consumers can lodge their complaint regarding food concerns with the State Authorities through various means. One can approach the Food Safety Commissioner or use the following means for lodging consumer grievance.

  1. Register at Foscos portal.
  2. Enter mobile number, an OTP will be sent to mobile, enter all the details and click on
    “Submit” and then login through your mobile number.
  3. Navigate to “Register New Complaint”.
  4. Select category from the dropdown and based on the category continue to fill all the mandatory complaint details.
  5. Selection of Food Business Operator – please select Food Business Operator if available
    in the dropdown list, if not then select “Other FBO”
  6. After entering all the details correctly, click on “Submit” button at the bottom of the
    page.
  7. A ticket number will be generated against the complaint through which consumer can track the complaint.

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