Food companies to confirm compliance with new regulations
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which has expanded the scope of regulations and standards to include a wider range of food products in the past two years, has asked companies to re-validate their product approvals, if their products are not covered under these regulations.
Till August 2015, FSSAI was following a mechanism of granting product approvals/ No Objection Certificates to companies to manufacture or import products, for which standards did not exist. However, this mechanism was suspended on the direction of the Supreme Court in 2015, and FSSAI decided to frame the necessary regulations for such products.
In addition, it has also asked food companies that had been granted product approvals earlier but their products now come under the purview of the additional regulations, to confirm to the Authority that their products comply with these regulations.
Last month, CAG had recommended to FSSAI to ensure that all licences issued to food companies under the “erstwhile system of product approvals” are reviewed and licences cancelled and reissued as warranted under the present procedure.
FSSAI said that to facilitate clearance of new food products, it has now enlarged the scope of proprietary food by making amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. “The list of permissible food additives has also increased under these regulations. In addition, several new product standards/regulations have also been developed,” it said.
The regulator also pointed out that it has also notified regulations, which has set standards for categories such as health supplements, nutraceuticals, food for special dietary uses and special medical purposes besides specialty foods containing probiotics, botanicals, and prebiotics as well as novel foods.
“However, food business operators, whose products are still not covered under any of these regulations, are advised to re-validate their products approval/ NOC granted to them by submitting the necessary documents to the Authority as per requirement given under the Food Safety and Standards (Approval for non-specified and Food Ingredients) Regulations, 2017,” FSSAI stated. It has given food companies 30 days to comply with this directive.