Food safety laws in India

Food safety laws in India

Date : 07 Jun, 2019

Post By Shreya Mintri

Food without safety is no food at all. While a lot of us often take the safety of the food we consume for granted. An estimation of about 600 million cases of foodborne diseases occurs annually all over the world. Food that is unsafe is a huge threat to human health and economies, disproportionately affecting marginalized people, populations affected by conflict and migrants. It damages the worldwide business and exchange that leads to further wastage of food, which can no longer be tolerated in a world where many still suffer from hunger. Food safety has become a threatening concern which can only be resolved if all the international bodies, producers, government and consumers consider it an important responsibility.

The Food and Agriculture The organisation has adopted the first-ever “World Food Safety Day” of the United Nations to be celebrated on the 7th of June 2019.

The food processing industry in India is regulated by various laws which govern a lot of  aspects such as sanitation, licensing and other permits that are necessarily required to start up and run any food business. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 was the first ever law to be passed by the legislation to promote the security of food all over the country.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is a self-regulated body that has been  established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India. The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a statute related to the safety of food and regulation in India. FSSAI protects and promotes public health by regulating and supervising food safety.

Eight laws in operation prior to the enforcement of FSSA are:

-The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 - Adulteration of foodstuff  was so frequent, widespread and persistent that nothing short of a somewhat drastic remedy in the form of a comprehensive the legislation became the need of the hour. To check this an initiative was taken in the form of Prevention of Food Adulteration Bill to bring relief for the consumers at large.

-The Fruit Products Order, 1955 - The FPO mark is a certification mark compulsory on all processed fruit products sold in India. This mark makes sure that the product manufactured is hygienic thus ensuring that the product is consumable.

-The Meat Food Products Order, 1973 - The MFPO Order aims at the maintenance of sanitary conditions in the slaughterhouses, ensuring proper antemortem examination, postmortem inspection of carcasses, in-process inspection and final product checking.

-The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947 - This was done for the proper regulation of manufacture, distribution and sale of Vegetable Oil Products.

-The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998 - This order was established to make the packing of edible oils at prices that are already predetermined, and sold in retail, mandatory with the exception of being exempted by the concerned state government. Its main objective is to make sure the availability of safe and quality edible oils for consumption.

-The Solvent Extracted Oil, (Control) Order, 1967 - This has made sure that the oils that are extracted only reach the consumers once they are refined perfectly and the quality standards are confirmed.

-The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 - This order maintains and increases the supply of milk of good quality and regulates the production, and distribution of milk and it’s products. It is mandatory for all dairy plants that handle more than ten thousand litres per day of milk or milk solids per year, to get registered with the Central government.

-Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (in relation to food) - It regulates and controls the production, distribution and pricing of commodities which are considered really important for the maintenance or increase in supplies. It also makes sure their equal distribution and availability at good and fair prices.

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