Food safety and regulations thereto, in India, are majorly under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (“Act”) and the regulatory body Food Safety and Standards Authority of India established under the Act. The Act requires all businesses dealing with foods or food manufacturing to be registered under it. For a person to conduct any business relating to foods, they must have an FSSAI license.
1. Importance of FSSAI Declaration
A mandatory step for procuring the FSSAI licence is the declaration that a person or legal entity must submit along with their license application. Under this declaration, the applicant is required to declare the following three things-
– The food business they are going to conduct will comply with all the rules and regulations established by the FSSAI.
– All the information that is submitted along with the application is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.
– The concerned food business follows all the guidelines that have been enumerated under schedule 4 of the Registration and Licensing Regulations given in the Act.
2. Hygiene Practices to Follow to Get an FSSAI License
For getting an FSSAI license, it is important to follow the guidelines for Hygiene and Sanitary Practices as set out under Schedule 4 of the FSSAI. There are two different standards that need to be given special attention to-
1. Location of business: To ensure that the food(s) from the business are being handled with due care and away from contamination, the FSSAI has placed a few restrictions on the location of the business.
- The business should ideally be away from industrial activities and environmental pollution. Any location that can potentially contaminate the food via odour, fumes, soot, smoke, chemicals, dust or biological emissions should be avoided.
- In the case the location cannot be changed to a better-suited area, the business has to ensure that all and any measures are taken to ensure that contamination of food does not take place.
- The premise of the food manufacture unit should not be connected or should not have direct access to any residential area.
2. Hygiene practices:Hygiene standards do not stop with personnel that are in contact with the food but also extends to any equipment and tools that are used in operation.
- Corrosion-free materials. Materials used for the manufacturing, handling, storage, transportation, packaging and serving should be corrosion-free, non-toxic and non-contaminating.
- The equipment and tools used for the preparation and manufacturing of the food products must be kept in a neat and orderly manner at all times. They must be regularly repaired and sanitised. It is also mandated that these equipment and tools are not used for any other purpose.
- Containers used for food or its ingredients intended for sale must come with a proper cover or lid to ensure that any dust, dirt or insects cannot contaminate the food.
3. How to Make the FSSAI Declaration?
As mentioned earlier, the FSSAI declaration has to be attached when applying for a license or product approval. The letter can be printed either on plain paper or the letterhead of the company and attached. The letter on submission has to be signed either by-
– The authorised personnel or,
– The promoter of the company
4. FSSAI Declaration Form
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