Every food business operator (FBO) involved in handling, processing, manufacturing, packaging, storing and distribution of any food item must adhere to the food safety and standards regulations of India. Food safety and hygiene norms are developed by food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI). It is mandatory for every food business operator to go for FSSAI registration and to display his/her license number on the food item/items after getting the approval.
It is the moral responsibility of a food business operator to take care of the food item so that it doesn’t harm any customer. Every food business operator must remain compliant with FSSAI rules & regulations. In case the food safety and standards regulations are not followed by the food business operators, it may lead to food borne disease. In order to prevent customers from such incidents, World Health Organization (WHO) developed 5 food safety principles.
Food Safety Principles by World Health Organization (WHO)
- Prevent food adulteration with pathogens.
- Prevent cooked food adulteration by separating raw & cooked food.
- Cook the food on the appropriate temperature and for the appropriate length of time to kill pathogens.
- Food storage at proper temperature as per the requirements specified for the food safety.
- Use drinking water and safe raw materials.
FSSAI Food Safety and Standards Requirements in India:
As per FSSAI Food Safety and standards, every food business operator needs to follow the following requirements mentioned below –
Location of the food establishment
As per the guidelines provided by FSSAI, the location of the food establishment should be away from dust, smoke, fumes, odour, pollutants, chemical emissions that may contaminate the food and prove harmful for the customers. Environmental pollution and industrial areas near by the food establishment can cause serious threats to the food safety.
Manufacturing place of food items should not have direct access to the residential areas. Location plays an important role in case of meat products too. FSSAI license is provided to the food business operators dealing in meat & meat products only, when the food establishment is linked to a meat market and maintains its distance from vegetable, fish and other food products.
Layout & design
Layout & design is the other important factor which a food operator needs to take care of. Every food operator must maintain the floors, walls & ceilings of its establishment with no flaking and plaster as specified in food sanitation and hygiene rules. Food establishment must be free from insects & rodents and corrective measures should be taken by the food operator so that they remain away from establishment. Place of food preparation must be separated from the place of urinal, sullage or drain.
Equipment & containers
Equipment & containers used by any food establishment must be free from dust, dirt, flies and insects. It should be clean and in a good order so that food can be stored safely in containers. It should be made of corrosion free materials. Regular cleaning and preventing equipment’s from infection are necessary to maintain food safety & hygiene conditions.
Water supply facilities in the establishment should be adequate to prevent contamination of food items. Only drinking water should be used in the preparation of the food item. In order to take license from food licensing authority, it is necessary to take care of the following things –
- Raw material washing facilities
- Utensils cleaning
- Drainage cleaning
- Waste disposal cleaning
- Maintaining of air quality & ventilation
- Washroom facility
Food operations & controls
As per Indian & international food laws, expiry date of the food article must be carefully checked before using the same in the food item. There are many other things which we have to take care of in order to prevent food items while storing –
- Remain cautious about temperatures for high risk food. For ex – Milk products, frozen food etc.
- Safe storage of raw materials.
Cleaning & maintenance of establishment premises
As per food safety standards, proper cleaning & maintenance facilities should be implemented in the establishment premises to prevent items from the dirt, dust or any other harmful chemical. Pest control system should be on the top of the list of every food operator. In order to ensure food hygiene and sanitation, you must set specific cleaning frequencies and the procedure of doing it. Make sure that the pest treatment process should not adversely affect the food quality.
Personal hygiene is also one of the important factors in food safety & hygiene. Individuals handling the food items must take care of their personal cleanliness before touching the food item. As per FSS rules & regulations, it is mandatory that every business operator must provide instructions to all food handlers and guide them about the following food safety & hygiene requirements –
- Protective clothing
- Face mask
- Head covering
- Required footwear
These requirements must be followed by all food handlers not only while working but also at the time of visiting food establishment. Regular health check-ups must be organized for all food handlers in order to prevent them from any illness or disease which may transmits to other person through food item.
Also Read: Tips to Avoid Delay in FSSAI Food License
FSSAI Food Safety and Hygiene Requirements by FSMS
In order to offer guarantee of the safety of food, food business should implement an expedient Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and useful pre-requisite programmes by vigorously directing hazards throughout the food chain starting from the production of food till the final consumption.
Based on the situation of license under FSS (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011, every food business operator (FBO) applying for licensing should have a recognized FSMS plan and comply with schedule 4 of this guideline. Schedule 4 presents the thought of FSMS based on application of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) by food businesses and is allocated into five parts as under:
|Schedule 4||General Requirements|
|Part 1||General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators applying for registration - Petty food operators and Street food vendors|
|Part 2||General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators applying for license- Manufacturing/ processing/ packaging/storage/distribution|
|Part 3||General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators applying for license- Milk and milk products|
|Part 4||General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators applying for license- Slaughter house and meat processing|
|Part 5||General hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by food business operators applying for license- Catering|
Proper adhering to the food standards & safety regulations ensures food operator that all the food handlers are well aware of their roles & responsibilities and properly working for the safety of food items. Safety check of food items, periodic assessment of training efficiency and awareness for safety requirements are carried out periodically and effectively by the food safety & standards authority of India (FSSAI).
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