What is FSSAI?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India was established in 2006 under Food safety and standards to maintain a good quality level of the food in order to ensure the safety and satisfaction of each and every customer across India. FSSAI has consolidated numerous orders and acts which handle food-related issues. To implement a particular set of standards based on scientific experiments to create up a particular quality level for food and also to regulate their manufacturing, distribution, and sale is the topmost priority of FSSAI. There are 20 standards based on scientific experiments that help in removing various toxic elements from the food to make it safe and of quality. The primary goal of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is to maintain the public’s health. As it is a well-known saying that we are what we eat and hence, the food that we intake should be of quality and should not contain any hazardous products.
Guidelines for e-Commerce Food Operators
According to the FSSAI, digital platforms involved in the services of selling manufacturing and restaurants and delivery organizations that directly deliver to the customers all come under the definition of e-commerce food business operators. In the past decade, E-Commerce food Enterprises and online shopping and grocery stores have grown with tremendous speed in India. Food delivery websites Like Zomato, Swiggy, and online wholesale food stores like Big Basket, etc. have gained a lot of attention.
These E-Commerce platforms are spread large and wide. To keep in check the food quality of these E-Commerce food operators, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has extended its scope and issued numerous guidelines for the same. In 2018, this national food regulator issued revised guidelines to step up their methods of ensuring food safety of such E-Commerce food operators.
- The first and foremost regulation for E-Commerce food operators is that they should be licensed to operate their functions. FSSAI License is mandatory for all these e-commerce FBOs to obtain a license from the central licensing authority of India to operate.
- In 2018, FSSAI issued some new guidelines. The food delivering companies are required to display accurate pictures of the food that is being marketed on their online platforms so that customers can easily recognize the said item.
- The new guidelines also directed that these E-commerce food operators must comply with the Food Safety and Standards Acts, 2011. The food products that are being delivered or offered for sale are liable to checking and sampling at any given point in the supply chain beginning from the supplier to the customer.
- Another important guideline regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Association of India was that the food that has to be delivered should be fresh and up to quality. Food that is being delivered should have 45 days expired at the time of the delivery according to the new guidelines of FSSAI.
- The mandatory information mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards Act should also be provided to the customers before the purchase is made.
- An important guideline was also issued and according to which all the E-commerce FBOs are to have a complaint redressal mechanism as a mandatory feature so that customers can their grievances with the food operators actively. The guidelines also state that these types of issues are to be solved by the concerned E-commerce FBOs within a certain time period.
The above-mentioned guidelines will affect E-Commerce food operators which have now become a big market for consumers. By issuing the guidelines the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is doing an excellent job in maintaining a proper quality of food and its safety for the public.