INDIA – The third largest hotel association in the world, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), has appealed to food safety regulator FSSAI to extend the deadline for mentioning FSSAI License number on bills given by food business operators.

FHRAI is the voice of the hospitality industry and provides an interface between the Hospitality Industry and other stakeholders.

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) had earlier charged Food Business Operators (FBOs) to footnote the FSSAI license or registration number on cash receipts or purchase invoice with effect from October 1 this year.

This would enable the consumer to lodge complaints with complete coordinates and regulators would find it easier to trace the origin of the complaints thus promptly attending to them.

Despite being in favor of the FSSAI’s latest order, it has requested the regulator to take into consideration the crisis faced by the hotel industry in the ongoing covid pandemic.

“FHRAI appreciates the FSSAI’s endeavor to set up a robust customer grievance system in the country. This will also improve the overall awareness of the FSSAI and its underlying objectives of creating a safe and hygienic ecosystem for FBOs,” FHRAI vice president Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said.

It has cited the additional expense strain that businesses would have to incur to implement new systems, including the printing of new receipts, invoices, bills, cash memos and updating of the software.

Kohli expressed that while the initiative being a great one, it has to be taken into account that at present, tourism and hospitality is the most impacted sector by the pandemic and will most probably be the last to recover.

“During such times of deep crisis, the implementation of this order would entail a lot of additional expenses on businesses. Hence, we request the FSSAI to extend the timeline for implementation of the order until such time that some normalcy returns to the sector,” he said.

The Hospitality industry is reeling under immense financial damages due to the COVID19 pandemic.

Businesses are in massive debts and are in no position to undertake additional investments, the FHRAI has stated.

“The hospitality sector has always supported the FSSAI in its mission to ensure better quality and standards for food business. The FHRAI through its regional Associations has been at the forefront for organizing FSSAI’s FoSTaC training programmes across the country. We continue to provide our unwavering support to all the progressive endeavors of FSSAI,” concluded the vice president.