According to new norms, food packaging is now supposed to tell you if the food you are consuming has been produced by the manufacturers who are registered under the Food Safety and Standards Act, India (FSSAI).
As per the central government notification and the amendment of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and labelling) Amendment Regulation, 2013, it has become necessary to print an FSSAI registration number on the packaging. This notification would help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) track manufacturers who do not have FSSAI licences.
According to FSSAI 2006, either a registration number or a licence is provided to each food manufacturer. It is a 14-digit number provided to the applicant, which must be compulsorily printed on food packages. “As per the new amendment on packaging by FSSAI it is compulsory to print licence or registration numbers with the FSSAI logo. This will help people understand if the food has undergone quality checks,” said Deelip Sangat, assistant commissioner, FDA, food. The 14-digit number would provide information on the manufacturer’s licence or registration details, and the manufacturing state.
“If we decode the 14-digit number it will tell us all we want to know about the manufacturer. The 14-digit number is divided into five parts. The first single digit tells us whether the manufacturer is licence holder or just registered, the next two digits provides the state, the following two digits tell us the year the manufacturer was registered with FSSAI.
The licensing authority or registering authority is disclosed in the next three digits and remaining digits are the manufacturer’s licence number,” Sangat added. Sonia Patankar of Patankar Khauwale, a chain of food shops in the city, said, “The Act is good to maintain quality, but will increase cost of food.
Some time ago it had become mandatory to print nutritional facts on the packaging and many of us did so. But, now there are many products in the market that don’t have nutritional facts printed. Such a thing should not happen with this new amendment.”
Licencing and registering
According to the Food Safety and Standards Act India (FSSAI) 2006, every food manufacturer should get a licence from the FDA or a concerned authority of FSSAI. If the food manufacturer has an annual income of less than Rs 12 lakh, a process of registration is enough. The centralised Act has been implemented to promote safe food across the country. It was implemented in August 5, 2011.