The Food Safety and Standards Act passed in 2006, made it mandatory that any person commencing or carrying on a food business must have the FSSAI license. In spite of the said provision, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Pawan Kumar Agarwal stated that there are multiple hotels and restaurants, which amounts to 30%-40%, who are carrying on with their food businesses without the above-mentioned license. Find out how to get the FSSAI license for your restaurant here. Pondering into the problem at hand Mr Agarwal, showed some serious concerns over the lack of awareness of the people in India and on November 14, 2017, in New Delhi, he passed a new provision.
Restaurants Have 3 Months Time to Get the FSSAI License
The FSSAI clearly stated that all hotels and restaurants operating without the FSSAI license will be sealed and closed if they fail to take permits within the next 3 months. This rule applies to all establishments, be it profit or non-profit, public or private, hence it also includes religious places where food is provided without charges. However, it must be mentioned that there are few exceptions that are provided, for example, petty manufacturers, retailers and hawkers are exempted from this rule.
As the overarching cloud prevails over whether FSSAI licenses are mandatory for all food outlets or not, FSSAI has delegated the responsibility to the State Governments to initiate a special drive through which they will spread the awareness of the FSSAI license. After the time period for this awareness, the drive is over, FSSAI will be asking the State Governments to seal and close all those establishments across the country which are running without the above-said license. Mr Agarwal further went on to say, that not only is getting the licenses in place is mandatory, the restaurants and hotels also need to submit the food safety management plan.
Mandatory Food Supervisor at All Food Businesses
Mr Agarwal also shared his future plan of making a mandatory rule for all food business to have one person, who will be the food supervisor and who will be trained and certified as per its curriculum. The importance of displaying the licenses at prominent points within the premises of the restaurants was also highlighted; the display board at any restaurant should also have contact details of customer care as well as food inspector of that location. FSSAI is also working on developing a rating for “Hygiene and hygiene plus”, this new provision will be put into force soon.
Maintaining food hygiene across all the food establishments is exceptionally important and laws must not be taken lightly. FSSAI has been in operation for over the last six years and by now all the food businesses must have had their licenses in place. FSSAI Enforcement Director, Mr Agarwal is given the enormous task of ensuring a 100 percent licensing of all restaurants and hotels in the next three months, hence he is moving forward with immense vigour and is in no mood of any compromise or leniency!