As the demand of consumers for high quality and tasty food is growing, governing bodies are also becoming proactive to keep the standards of the food being served in restaurants in check. Nowadays regular sample checkups and raids on different food outlets are being conducted to keep restaurant owners on their toes and make them deliver what is expected, i.e. good quality food. Moreover, consumers are becoming more and more aware and will not settle for inferior quality food. This makes it all the more critical for you to follow every FSSAI guideline, because if you are penalized for an offense, not only will you lose money because of the fine but customer goodwill as well. Hence, read this article to make sure that you are following all the Food and Safety guidelines by the FSSAI to avoid penalties and fines on your restaurant business.
Top FSSAI Offenses For Which They Can Impose A Penalty Or A Fine On Your Restaurant Business
In this article, we will take you through the possible offenses and their penalties while running a restaurant business. These are the offenses that you must avoid at all costs to maintain your licenses, customers, and reputation. Here are the top 5 FSSAI offenses and penalties.
1. Running A Restaurant Business Without The Proper Licenses
Any restaurant owner who carries out food business without obtaining the food licenses attracts imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also a fine which may extend up to five lakh rupees. In a media report, it was stated that only one out of fifteen food businesses are registered in India. In fact, the FSSAI has also warned that the restaurants operating without the food licenses will be shut down.
According to Pawan Kumar Aggarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said in the media report, “In terms of licenses and registrations of food businesses, we still have a very very long way to go. Only 33 lakh are registered, It is believed there are close to 5 crore food businesses in the country. You can see that it has not even reached 10 percent the mark.” Apart from the food license, you need a liquor license if you want to sell liquor at your outlet and some more permits to run a restaurant. As a restaurant owner, every license is essential, and you must ensure that they are all up to date.
2. Selling Food Not Of Nature Or Substance Or Quality Demanded
Any person who sells low quality or any food which is not in compliance with the provisions of the FSSAI ACT 2006 or the regulations made there can attract a restaurant penalty of up to five lakh rupees. If the person is covered under sub-section (2) of section 31 of the FSSAI ACT will draw a restaurant penalty of not more than Rs 25,000 rupees. Sooner or later, food of sub-standard quality will also drive your customers away. Before worrying about the FSSAI offenses and penalties, you will have to be worried about your customers leaving due to inferior food quality.
Case: A lot of eminent eateries in Delhi were found guilty of serving low quality and unsafe rice to the consumers. Read the complete story here.
3. Selling Food That Contains External Or Inappropriate Matter
No one would like to go to a restaurant, order a meal and then find any external matter like some foreign ingredient in it. Any person who caught selling food in his/her restaurant which contains inappropriate matter shall be liable to pay an FSSAI imposed fine of up to Rs One lakh. This is similar to the famous Maggi Noodle Fiasco which took the toll on the whole company and spoiled the entire brand image. As a result, Maggie had to re-brand its entire image, invest in marketing its case and had to suffer huge losses because of the loss of sales and customers.
Case: One of the media agencies reported that the Kolkata-based Central Laboratory found the Detergent and frozen fat during re-tests of milk samples collected by the district Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) department from Mother Dairy.
4. Keeping The Kitchen Dirty And Unhygienic
Any restaurant owner, who does not keep the manufacturing process or kitchen clean and hygienic or unsanitary conditions shall be liable to pay the restaurant penalty of up to one lakh rupees.
Case: In Nagpur, the authorities warned Central Provinces Club in the city of cancellation of food license from June 21 to July 5, 2016. In the report it was mentioned that the notice has been issued following two inspections by the food safety officer (FSO), one on November 17, 2015, and another on May 18 this year that revealed as many as ten faults including extremely unhygienic kitchen, no pest control, unclean water tank etc that are not permissible under the Food Safety Act.
5. Accidents Including Consumer Injury And Death
If any restaurant owner is found guilty of selling a food item which caused injury or death of the consumer shall be liable to a restaurant penalty of Rs 5 lakh in case of death and Rs 3 lakh fine in case of specific injuries. The fine can be further relaxed to Rs 1 lakh in case of some injuries. The adjudicating officer or the court may also order the cancellation of the licenses and closure of the food outlet.
Make sure that you have all the proper licenses and abide strictly by the rules while running your restaurant business to avoid any restaurant penalty or fines levied by the government.