The Food Industry has emerged as one of the burgeoning sectors in the recent past. The emergence of restaurants and Food Business Operators (FBO’s) throughout India has also given rise to the necessity to regulate the Food Industry. Food Laws have been regulated in India with the object to ensure safety manufacture, sale and distribution of food related products and prevent food adulteration in India.
One of the first law passed in the Parliament relating to the food industry in India was Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 with a view to promote food security in India. Apart from this, there were 6 other legislations governing the food industry:-
- The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947;
- The Fruit Product Order, 1955;
- The Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967;
- The Meat Food Products Order, 1973;
- The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992; and
- The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998.
All the above-mentioned legislations were overruled with the introduction of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act). The Act came into force in 2011 by consolidating various laws and Rules relating to the Food Industry.
Some of the key areas covered by Food Laws in India are:
Packaging & Labelling
FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) lays down separate regulations for Packaging and Labelling of food products, namely, the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011 which provides for regulatory & statutory requirements for packaging & labelling of food products.
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Food License and Registration
The nourishment business executives or administrators, under the permit, are required to be authorized or enrolled as per the guidelines of the FSSAI. Hence, an individual is prohibited from starting any nourishment business, except in the case where he has obtained a legitimate permit from the existing business administrator.
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The Food Laws also impose penalties for non-compliance with the Rules and Regulations when dealing with food products like non-declaration on packaging, vending inferior quality food products, carrying on with the business without obtaining license from FSSAI, manufacture and sale of sub-standard and unsafe food products etc.
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