INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved several amendments to streamline food safety and standards regulations.

This was during its 43rd meeting in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Health Secretary, Shri Apurva Chandra.

One of the key approvals in the meeting is the elimination of the requirement for Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or AGMARK certification for food products. Once these amendments are finalized, food businesses will only need FSSAI certification, eliminating the need to approach different authorities for mandatory accreditation.

This move is expected to simplify the certification process and reduce regulatory hurdles for food businesses, aligning with the concept of ‘One Nation, One Commodity, One Regulator.’

Additionally, the meeting saw approvals for new standards, including Mead (Honey wine) and Alcoholic Ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, as well as revisions to standards for milk fat products. Notably, standards for Haleem, a popular dish made from meat, pulses, grains, and other ingredients, were also approved.

These standards are part of FSSAI’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and quality of diverse food products available in the market.

A significant milestone achieved during the meeting was the approval of a comprehensive manual of analysis methods. This manual will play a crucial role in ensuring regulatory compliance with food products, providing a standardized framework for testing and verification across the industry.

Stakeholder engagement

The Food Authority emphasized the importance of stakeholder engagement in finalizing these amendments. Draft notifications will be issued to invite comments from stakeholders before the regulations are finalized.

The meeting also witnessed participation from various government ministries, industry associations, consumer organizations, research institutes, and farmers’ organizations, highlighting the collaborative approach towards enhancing food safety and standards in the country.

Kamala Vardhana Rao, CEO of FSSAI, expressed optimism about the impact of these regulatory changes in fostering a conducive environment for food businesses while ensuring consumer safety and satisfaction.

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