INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a mobile app dubbed Food Safety Connect in order to ease the registration process for a large number of unorganized micro and small food businesses in the country including hawkers and street vendors.

“With the launch of FSSAI’s Food Connect Mobile App, it will be easier for food businesses, particularly petty hawkers, vendors, and startups to file an application for FSSAI registration by simply using their smartphones,” FSSAI said in a statement.

The Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 mandates that every food business is required to obtain FSSAI license or registration prior to commencing the business. India has a large segment of unorganized food businesses that are not much conversant with tech-based platforms.

Applicants can access FAQs on the procedures related to licensing and registration, regulations, and other compliances for the food businesses through the app.

Food business operators can access resource material pertaining to a list of notified laboratories for food testing, inspection checklists, product standards, list of Food Safety Mitras, training through Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC), guidance documents, etc.

Food Safety Mitra is an FSSAI-certified individual professional who assists businesses in compliances related to Food Safety and Standards Act. FoSTaC is a training programme for food businesses having central or state licenses to have at least one trained and certified food safety supervisor for every 25 food-handlers in their premises.

“Consumers can access knowledge hub for citizens such as informative videos, myth busters, books and other guidance documents that are relevant for citizens to know about safe and healthy eating practices,” said FSSAI.

App to bridge communication gap

The new application aims to bridge the communication gap with consumers and provide a resource hub for them to stay aware and updated about FSSAI key activities. They can access knowledge hub for citizens such as informatory videos, myth busters, books and other guidance documents that are relevant for citizens to know about safe and healthy eating practices.

The agency, further informed that this app will be used as a mechanism for consumers to easily verify the FSSAI license or registration on any food packet. Consumers can even lodge their grievances related to any food safety matters through the app.

The new app launch has come amid the release of the Global Food Security Index 2021 by Economist Impact and Corteva Agriscience in October 2021. The index has put India on the 71st position out of 113 countries and behind Pakistan and Sri Lanka with respect to food affordability.

The Global Food Security Index ranks countries based on metrics including quality and safety of food, affordability, availability, and natural resources and resilience. The list is topped by Ireland, Austria, and the UK.

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