FSSAI issues direction for re-operationalization of food business licensing

INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a direction for the re-operationalization of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Amendment Regulations, 2021.

These regulations contain amendments in respect of the Licensing and Registration of E-Commerce food business operators, documents to be enclosed for a new application for a license to the State/Central Licensing Authority for restaurant, conditions of license for restaurant, Part-II of Schedule 4 relating to general requirements on hygienic and sanitary practices to be followed by all food business operators applying for a license, Part IV of Schedule 4 relating to establishing a small slaughterhouse, and Part V of Schedule 4 relating to good hygienic and manufacturing practices to be followed by licensed food business operators engaged in catering or food service operations.

The FSSAI claims that these laws were initially operationalized on February 15, 2018, and then again on August 16, 2018, February 28, 2019, February 16, 2020, August 16, 2020, March 19, 2021, November 12, 2021, and June 24, 2022.

The stated draft amendment regulations were notified on November 17, 2020, seeking opinions from the stakeholders, and are currently going through the finalization process, according to a statement from the FSSAI.

“Since notification of the final amendment regulations is likely to take some time, it has been decided to re-operationalize the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Amendment Regulations, 2021 with effect from Nov 11, 2022, to ensure food safety and fair practices in food business operations,” reads the statement by FSSAI.

According to the FSSAI statement, the enforcement of these regulations will not begin until the final regulations are published in the Indian Gazette, with the exception of the amendment to sub-regulation 2.1.9 (related to Modifications, Expansion, or Changes in premise(s) after grant of license or registration) which took effect on March 27, 2020.

The statement further stated that, with regard to schedule 4 requirements, Food Business Operators may receive an improvement notice pursuant to Section 32 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and may take appropriate steps to ensure compliance.

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