The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the government of India that is headquartered in New Delhi ensures the implementation of the rules and regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, commonly called FSSAI. In India, any entity or individual beginning with a food business needs to obtain Fassai food licenses or an FSSAI registration. This autonomous authority lays down a set of safety standards to regulate and maintain the manufacturing, distribution, and storage of the food products.
It takes around two months to obtain an FSSAI license and nearly six months for the launch of product approval in the market. FSSAI is largely responsible for promoting public health among the people by keeping a regular check. About 90% of food products sold in the market have a prescribed specification by FSSAI. However, these products do not include sea products. Fishermen and farmers are beyond the scope of FSSAI.
TYPES OF FSSAI FOOD LICENSES
Three different types of Fssai food licenses are issued by the Food Safety and Security Association of India; they are as follows:
- BASIC FSSAI REGISTRATION
Small-sized food business operators – manufacturers, storage units, and retailers must obtain this basic FSSAI registration. It is issued by the state government for a minimum period of one year and a maximum of 5 years. These food business operators mostly have an annual turnover of fewer than 12 lakhs
- STATE FSSAI LICENSE
Food business operators having an annual turnover greater than 12 lakhs are issued this license. Small to medium-sized manufacturers, storage units, transporters must get the state FSSAI license issued. It has a minimum validity of one year and a maximum of 5 years
- CENTRAL FSSAI LICENSE
Food business operators having annual turnover greater than 20 crores are issued this license. Large manufacturers, government agencies, seaports, etc. need to get a central FSSAI license issued. This license is issued by the central government, and the minimum tenure of this license is one year, while the maximum is five years.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO ENSURE FOOD SAFETY
Several methods need to be implemented by the food industry to ensure food safety; these methods have been stated below.
- Identify harmful substances in food products – regular hazard analysis tests must be conducted, and consequently, the hazards should be identified and removed.
- Maintain and regulate the food, making actions, and form verification procedures to ensure that all corrective steps are being followed.
- Employees should undergo extensive training. They are also responsible for the right handling and quality of food products being sold in the market.
The distributors of all types of food products in the market must be compelled to conduct quality checks of the food products.
A business food operator can apply for FSSAI food licenses by visiting its official site www.fssai.gov.in, FSSAI sets up the formulation and enforcement of food safety standards and has framed different standards for food types like proprietary food, irradiation of food, etc.
A food business operator needs to get a food license issued under the guidelines of FSSAI.