FSSAI an abbreviation for Food Safety and Standard Authority of India is an autonomous body under the Foods Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act). The apex body is responsible for all laws relating to food safety and for laying down science based standards for articles of food to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for humans. FSSAI is established for protecting and promoting public health through food safety measures.
Before the FSS Act, came into existence, there were numerous laws, regulations which were governing the various food related sectors and various departments. The FSS Act subsumes the various acts & regulations that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. The older laws which have been consolidated are:
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- Fruit Products Order, 1955
- Meat Food Products Order, 1973
- Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
- Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
- Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967
- Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992
The objective behind the enactment of FSS Act, 2006 was to establish a single reference point for all matters relating food safety and standards by removing the ambiguity present because of multiple laws and regulations.
The Food Safety and Standards Act was passed in 2006 but came into force in 2011.
The FSS Act, 2006 mandates various functions to be performed by the FSSAI which are summarized as under:
- Framing of regulations to lay down food safety standards
- Laying down guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing
- Providing scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government
- Contributing to the development of international technical standards in food
- Collecting and collating data regarding food consumption, contamination, emerging risks etc.
- Disseminating information and promoting awareness about food safety and nutrition in India
The FSSAI has its headquarters at New Delhi. The authority also has 6 regional offices located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai. FSSAI came out with Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses), Regulations 2011 which lays down the registration/license related rules applicable to all FBOs.
FSSAI have formulated various rules and regulations for all entities, petty vendors dealing in any business related to food. As a part of these regulations, FSSAI mandates licenses/registrations by all Food Business Operators (FBOs) based on the criteria specified. Three types of registration/license based on the nature of food business and turnover can be taken:
- Basic Registration: For Turnover less than ₹12 Lakh
- State License: For Turnover between ₹12 Lakh to ₹20 Crore
- Central License: For Turnover above ₹20 Crore
Other than the turnover criteria, there are criteria also which determines the type of license required by Food Business Operators (FBOs). The following link contains the eligibility criteria prescribed by FSSAI while making the registration.