The FSSAI or the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India that was founded in 2006 has consolidated the different laws that were issued by the department and ministries to create a standardized regulation on food products. The food and the beverage industry has undergone a mammoth change under the influence of modern technology. The primary aim of the body is to prevent any kind ofadulteration and addition of products in food for human consumption such that they may be deterrent to the overall health of human beings.
A central statutory body
With more and more people opting for ready to eat food, Food Labeling of these products have come under the scanner for their quality content of late. With globalization of industries, there are also numerous foreign investors who have made their foray into the domestic food market with their internationally acclaimed products. All this calls for strict vigilance on the quality of the food products so as to promote a healthy and prosperous nation. In keeping with the needs, the central government has formulated statutory bodies that are at the helm of specifying all the standard norms of the food products.
A comprehensive packaging guideline
To this end, this statutory body is now responsible for laying down the guidelines for the manufacturing and the marketing of all food products in the country. Manufacturers may attract consumers to these produce by way of attractive advertisements or even impressive packaging. In order to avoid the consumer from being misled, the FSSAI has formulated stringent food labeling guidelines for all packaged food products. The guidelines of the Safety Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations 2011 havebeen created as a forumfor authentic communication between the manufacturer and the consumer.
The needed information
The stipulationsinclude mentioning the nutritional information and furnishing the details of additives, apart from declaring the food item as veg or non-veg. The regulation also makes it mandatory for the manufacturer to specify the date of packaging and the date before which it is to be consumed, along with the name of the place or country of it’s origin. There are also specific regulations of labeling requirements for edible oils as with infant food and foodsubstitutes. The complete name and the address of the manufacturer are mandatory for all to print on the food labels so that the sites are easily accessible or inspection.
Misleading information attract penalty
The guidelines for the Food Labeling also make clear the fact that the label is properly integrated with the package, so that it does not come apart. Each label should be printed in a way that it can easily be inspected, and the consumer can satisfy her or his query about the content of the different aspects of the product. In case, a label does not comply with any of the stipulating guidelines and fails to give all the required information, the manufacturer call for apenalty. Misleading the consumer with false information or deceptive claims are punishable offenses and will lead to the brand being considered as misbranded.
Heavy penalty payments
The realm of advertisement too has been strictly followed up by the FSSAI and any kind of misleading information given out in the advertisements will end up the manufacturer paying heavy amounts of penalties. As a consumer, you can now easily identify a packaged food product through visual inspection and report about it to the concerned authorities. A defective label is the first step towards the product being suspected of it’s content and sent for analysis.
A healthy India plan
On analysis, if the products are found non-compliant to the stipulated standards, then necessary prosecution is launched by the statutory body for labeling as well as the substandard content. All this is a part of the initiative of the state on behalf of the consumer based on the theme ’jagograhakjago’ so that not only does the consumer get a better deal, but also a healthier self.The strict standard of food regulations are also maintained for food products that are imported as well as exported.
Uniform guidelines for all
While consumables that are exported have to be compliant with the rules of the regulatory bodies of the respective countries that import them, the strictures imposed byFSSAI apply to all products that are imported into the country. Of late, there have been burning issues such as imported food that are lying in warehouses because they do not comply with the food labeling stipulations of the statutory body. Food business operators are encouraged to understand the gravity of the stipulations for public health reasons over and above their business benefits.