Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

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With food poisoning and diarrhoea becoming a common occurrence, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is working towards creating a network of 34 microbiology labs across the country that will be equipped to test food products for 10 pathogens.

About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

  • It is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
  • Vision: Build a new India by enabling citizens to have safe and nutritious food, prevent diseases, and lead a healthy and happy life.
  • Mission: Set globally benchmarked standards for food, encourage and ensure that food businesses adhere to these standards, adopt good manufacturing and hygiene practices, and ultimately enable citizens to access safe and right food.

Functions of FSSAI

  • FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
  • It lays down standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food, and provides for licensing, registration, and accreditation for food business operators.
  • Anyone selling or importing food in India needs a food licence issued by FSSAI.
  • FSSAI also directly monitors compliance of food regulations, especially in the area of food imports to India. 
  • FSSAI officers carry out food import controls and ensure that the contain no harmful ingredients. To do this, they send selected test products from the import to accredited laboratories for inspection.
  • The FSSAI is also responsible for the accreditation of food testing laboratories throughout India.
  • The FSSAI is responsible for the Food Certification in India.
  • It is mandated to specify systems for enforcing its standards, for accreditation of certification systems, and for certification of food safety management systems for food businesses.

Q1: What is the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006?

It is an Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Source: FSSAI sets up lab network to test food for pathogens