FSSAI seeks proposals for FoSTaC special training drive for food handlers

19,October, 2020 Leave a comment

FSSAI has invited proposals for a special training drive under Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) programme and asked the interested agencies to submit their documents in support of the proposal by October 23, 2020, to the apex food regulator.
According to the FSSAI, the proposal was invited for selection of training partners empanelled under FoSTaC for training of food handlers working with anganwadi, government canteen and place of worship.
FSSAI intends to organise around 400 training sessions of basic catering under the FoSTaC programme that include both online and offline courses while the training needs to be provided in local language.
An official with the FSSAI says that the eligible partners need to have at least 5 trainers certified under FoSTaC and have provided at least 10 training sessions in basic catering.
The FSSAI may also cancel the contract if the performance of the selected training partners was not found satisfactory during the validity of the contract. And no claim of damage will be entitled, reads the notice.
Launched in the year 2017, the FoSTaC programme today has 3,39,698 FSSs (Food Safety Supervisors) across India who have conducted 15,109 food safety training sessions with 95,809 trained under Covid-19 safety training.
FoSTaC has a network comprising 241 partners and over 2,120 master trainers, who conduct 17 courses across three levels of training programmes (basic, advanced, and special).
Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, which is also a training partner with the FSSAI under FoSTaC, says, “FoSTaC training was initiated by the apex body with a motive to establish uniform standards of food safety practices for all types of food businesses. FSSAI initially launched the TOT – Train the Trainer Programme which included FSSAI officials training the Trainers of different Food Safety Training Organisations in different courses. These FoSTaC training partners were then certified to conduct these training pan-India.”
“The training has thus empowered and alarmed the entire food industry to maintain transparency and implement uniform standards. It speaks of self -compliance amongst all the food handlers towards food safety and hygiene in the premises through effective training programmes,” he added.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI Given Additional Powers by Government; Extends Jurisdiction over Animal Feed Sector

19,October, 2020 Leave a comment
 

In another important development in the Agricultural sector, the Central Government has decided to provide additional powers to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which is apex regulatory authority for food safety in India. The FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety. It is headed by a non-executive Chairperson, appointed by the Central Government, either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India. The foremost responsibility of FSSAI include the development of Science-based Food Standards for articles of food and food products and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. The government has now extended its jurisdiction over animal feed, and also raised the penalties imposed for violations, in addition to simplifying the various processes, involved in the regulations.

The decision taken by the ministry of health and family welfare involves introducing 70 amendments in the 2006 Act in order to strengthen the functioning of the FSSAI. The amendments will be mainly to bring regulation of animal feed industry under FSSAI, thereby extending its jurisdiction over animal feed. Till now the apex regulatory body had powers on food industry only. Apart from animal feed industry, the government has also decided to specify standards for “food contact material”, which implies that there will be specification of standards for food packaging material.

Proposal to make the Act stricter is another feature in the amendment, which includes raising the penalties imposed for violations, covering manufacture and sale of unsafe food, adulteration of food causing death, carrying out business without license and repeated offences. The amendment proposes enhancing maximum fine for manufacturing and sale of unsafe food from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. Government has introduced a new section to define penalty for adulteration of food causing death or grievous hurt. So in future if any unsafe food causes harm affects to human health, the FSSAI can extend the punishment to even life imprisonment. The move comes six years after the Modi government had withdrawn a similar Bill introduced by Congress-led UPA in Rajya Sabha six years back, i.e. in February 2014. The NDA government had withdrawn the bill, after a Cabinet decision in December 2014 and decided to bring a more comprehensive Bill to address the underlying issues. Suggestions on the newly proposed draft Bill have been invited as well. Considering the ongoing pandemic, this decision should be a welcome move for the Agriculture Sector on the whole.

Categories: NEWS

Now Upma, Pauha, Idli will be sell outside schools, FSSAI, Udaipur

19,October, 2020 Leave a comment
 

Udaipur. Now no one will be able to sell ice cream, sweets and snacks within the radius of 50 meters from schools, nor can they be advertised in that area. Keeping in mind the health of children, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has prohibited the sale of these foods. This rule will come into force from the month of July 2021.

The rules issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSAAI) include excessive amounts of fat (fat), trans fats, excess salt, sugar, within a 50 meter radius of a school, school canteen or similar educational institution or hostel. The sale of saturated fat items has been banned. Only healthy, boiled or boiled snacks will be allowed instead. Also, cereals and pulses based idli, upma, poha, khandvi, dhokla, chile and namkeen porridge can be sold only.

Healthy food for children

The decision has been taken to make children aware of healthy food and food items. It has been described as a safe and nutritious diet for children. The school administration has also been instructed to set up boards in English and Hindi in and around the school not to sell such food items.

There will be a ban on these substances

Ice cream, sweets, canned or preserved vegetables, meat, fish, lentil-based snacks, nuts, white bread and biscuits

Welcome

This decision is welcome. We have already arranged healthy food and breakfast for children in our school canteen. If fat-rich foods are not available outside schools, then the children will automatically get away from it. In addition, the school will remain committed to providing healthy and nutritious food to children.

Alka Sharma, Director, CPS

Outside schools and similar good things should be found in schools for similar nutritional and health. Juices and shake should also be mixed with fruits. Also, children will have to arouse interest in traditional food. We also provide the same food to the children in our school and hostel, which they like more than other food items.

Posted by ADMN at 6:54 AM 3 comments:

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Oct 5, 2020

Check your sweets for best before date

In September, I bought 30 rasgullas from a well-known sweet shop. The owner assured me that they would stay absolutely fresh for seven days if I kept them refrigerated. However, the sweets went bad on the third day. How does one determine the true shelf life of these sweets?

As per the ‘Guidance Note on Safety and Quality of Traditional Milk Products” released by the food safety regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), this year, Bengali sweets like rasgullas have a shelf life of just two days from the date of manufacture, when refrigerated.

So, in order to sell his stock, the shopkeeper misled you on the shelf life, unmindful of the fact that stale sweets, particularly milk products, can cause food poisoning. In order to prevent just these kind of unfair trade practices and ensure food safety, the FSSAI has now mandated that, from October 1, all businesses selling non-packed sweets should display on the tray or the container, the ‘best before date’ of the product. The FSSAI has given the food business operator the option to determine the shelf life, depending on the product and the local conditions.

As you are probably aware, all pre-packed food items, including sweets, should indicate the date of manufacture, ‘best before’ or ‘use before’ date, the list of ingredients used and the FSSAI registration or licence number, as per FSSAI (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. However, non-packed foods have never been subject to mandatory declaration of shelf life. Since sweets, especially milk products, have a short shelf life and can get spoilt very fast, the FSSAI decided to make it mandatory for sweet sellers to declare the best before date.

In fact, on February 24 this year, the FSSAI issued an order making declaration of ‘date of manufacture’ as well as the ‘best before date’ mandatory from June 1, 2020. However, following the lockdown and the disruption caused on account of Covid-19, the date of enforcement was postponed to August 1 and subsequently to October 1.

In its September 25 order, the FSSAI has made the declaration of only the ‘best before date’ mandatory, while the ‘date of manufacture’ is voluntary. This is disappointing, but I do hope that this is only the first step and soon the ‘date of manufacture’ and the list of ingredients will also become mandatory.

In case of non-compliance of this order, complain to the FSSAI on their WhatsApp number: 9868686868, or on their toll free number: 1800 11 2100, or mail at compliance@fssai.gov.in.

What action can I take against the retailer who gave me a false assurance on the shelf life and later refusing to refund my money?

I do hope that you have a cash receipt as proof of purchase. If you do, I would suggest that you take the following action: (a) warn other consumers about this shop through the social media; (b) file a complaint before the consumer court seeking refund of the cost of the sweets and compensation; (c) complain to the local food safety officer about the shop.

A retailer who lies about the shelf life of the product may well have used substandard or prohibited ingredients (such as non-permitted colours) or prepared them in unhygienic conditions. He may also give an incorrect indication of shelf life. A check would be useful.

Categories: NEWS

From unstamped meat to carbide ripened fruits, food safety in Hyderabad is a major concern

19,October, 2020 1 comment
 

Calcium Carbide, a carcinogen, is widely used to ripen mangoes quickly.

Tension prevailed at the Kothapet fruit market in Hyderabad after authorities cancelled the licences of 91 shops on Monday, stating that they were using fruits artificially ripened with carbide.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) imposed penalties on five hotels, and sealed another, for unhygienic conditions.

Both these raids were in response to a much larger problem that the city faces: Food safety.

Unstamped meat

On Sunday, when officials raided mutton and beef shops along with malls to check for meat quality, they found that Forum Mall in Kukatpally, was using unstamped meat, and fined them Rs 20,000.

Earlier this week, 69 hotels had been raided by the municipal body, of which 54 were reportedly using stale meat and had dirty kitchens.

Since the first week of April, the GHMC has appealed to all eateries across the city, to only use meat from notified slaughter houses, which are monitored, and maintain a better quality.

"It is a public–private partnership and the GHMC issues permission to private agencies to build and run these notified slaughterhouses, in accordance with our norms and rules. Therefore, we can be sure that the meat from here is healthier," Dr B Palavan Kumar, the GHMC’s Health Wing in-charge of Secunderabad, Malkajgiri and Begumpet told TNM.

However, since this meat is costly, several eateries make their purchases from local butchers, thereby putting public health at risk.

Officials also say that in many places, they found meat that was stored in unhygienic conditions for more than a week, while the ideal norm is one day storage.

There are several departments that deal with the issue of hygiene and sanitation of eateries. The GHMC’s health department is one of those, mainly dealing with kitchen hygiene. This involves things like flooring, painting, utensils being used, storage, personal hygiene of workers etc.

While it is hard for a customer to tell the difference between stamped meat and unstamped meat once it is cooked, Dr Kumar says that one could still ask for a receipt.

"We issue a receipt when any restaurant or eatery buys from a notified slaughterhouse, and customers can demand to see that bill, if they feel that the meat is stale, or not up to the mark," he says.

Often, officials levy a heavy penalty on the eateries, or in some cases, shut them down until they are willing to refurbish the premises.

Artificially ripened fruits

With the incident at the Kothapet market on Monday, another long-standing problem that Hyderabad faces was highlighted.

Calcium Carbide is a dangerous and corrosive chemical used to make fertilizers, and it is known to have carcinogenic properties. Despite this, it is still widely used to ripen mangoes quickly.

With summer approaching, farmers tend to pluck mangoes early as they need to be transported to the market. Once it is in the market, mango traders ripen them artificially to clear their stocks sooner.

Moreover, the fruits look more attractive when they are artificially ripened, garnering more consumers.

The chemical is also used to ripen fruits like bananas. However, the substance is extremely harmful, and may cause cancer, permanent eye damage, ulcers and even lung issues.

In 2015, a bench of the Hyderabad High Court had called those who used the carcinogen to artificially ripen fruits, ‘worse than terrorists.’

"For earning some extra rupees, you are putting scores of lives at risk. Such traders are worse than terrorists, killing generations of people with slow poison," the court had said.

Moreover, artificial ripening of fruits is banned under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.

According to reports, those who do indulge in this practice can also be booked under IPC Sections 272, 273 (food adulteration) and 420 (cheating), which are all non-bailable sections.

Despite this, the farmers and the traders claim that they have no other choice.

A safer and legal way to speed up the ripening process of fruits is to gas them with ethylene, a natural ripening agent.

While the state has provided the farmers with ethylene chambers at the Kothapet market, traders reportedly couldn’t find slots for their fruits, and succumbed to artificial ripening.

Officials also say that it is very hard to identify these fruits.

As a general precaution, one thing to look out for is that they may look ripe on the outside, but are usually still unripe or ripening inside, when they are cut open.

Categories: NEWS

Bombay HC imposes Rs 1 lakh fine on PIL by sweet shop owners challenging FSSAI’s ‘best before’ tag rule

19,October, 2020 1 comment
 

The Court observed that the petitioner association sought to undo what the authority proposed to do for the benefit of consumers and therefore the PIL was ‘misconceived’ and imposed a fine of Rs. 1 lakh to be paid to Advocates’ Covid welfare fund.

The FSSAI order also said that the sweet shops may display manufacturing dates which shall be ‘purely voluntary’ and ‘non-binding’ and the shops shall display ‘best before date’ of sweets depending upon the nature of product and local conditions.

The Bombay High Court Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) by association of sweet shops owners in Mumbai and a imposed a Rs 1 lakh fine for challenging directions of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The directions mandated sweet shops to display ‘best before date’ on the container tray of non-packaged or loose sweets from October 1.

The Court observed that the petitioner association sought to undo what the authority proposed to do for the benefit of consumers and therefore the PIL was ‘misconceived’ and imposed a fine of Rs. 1 lakh to be paid to Advocates’ Covid welfare fund.

The decision was taken in view of some instances, which were reported about the expired sweets being sold to consumers posing health hazards.

Thereafter, the FSSAI on September 25 issued an order which stated: “In the public interest and to ensure food safety, it has been decided that in case of non-packaged/loose sweets, the container/tray holding sweets at the outlet for sale should display the ‘best before date’ of the product mandatorily with effect from October 1.”

The FSSAI order also said that the sweet shops may display manufacturing dates which shall be ‘purely voluntary’ and ‘non-binding’ and the shops shall display ‘best before date’ of sweets depending upon the nature of product and local conditions.

Moreover, the petitioner association said that through September 30, the FSSAI clarified that the September 25 order was applicable only to ‘Indian sweets’ and local language was allowed to be used on the container consisting the sweets. Alleging the same to be discriminatory, the association moved PIL before the HC challenging the orders passed under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Dismissing the PIL, the Court said, “…the petitioner seeks to undo what the authority proposed to do for the benefit of consumers and therefore it is thoroughly misconceived. We order costs of Rs. 1 lakh to Advocates’ Covid welfare fund.” The Court will pass reasoned order in due course.

Categories: NEWS

Bombay high court dismisses plea of Mumbai’s sweet shop owners seeking relaxation of expiry date rule

19,October, 2020 Leave a comment
 

The Bombay high court (HC) has asked a sweet sellers’ association to deposit Rs1 lakh for challenging the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) decision, asking the traders’ body to put a ‘best before’ date on loose sweets being sold by them from October 1. The court held that the association was trying to undo the precautionary measure initiated by the food department in public interest and dismissed the petition.

A division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Shri Mumbai Mishtanna Vayasai Sahakari Mandal, which has around 250 members. The bench was informed by advocate Uday Warunjikar — who represented the sweet sellers’ association — that the FSSAI had issued an order on February 24, mandating sweetmeat shops selling non-packaged or loose sweets to display the date of manufacturing and ‘best before’ date on the container or tray holding the sweets. Warunjikar submitted that this was the first of the three order issued by the FSSAI. The other two orders were issued on September 25 and 30.

While the September 25 order reiterated the February 24 order and stated: “In the public interest and to ensure food safety, it has been decided that in case of non-packaged/loose sweets, the container/tray holding sweets at the outlet for sale should display the ‘best before’ date of the product mandatorily, with effect from October 1.”

Warunjikar informed the court that while the September 30 FSSAI order clarified that the September 25 order was only pertaining to Indian sweets and local language was allowed to be used on the container in which the sweets were to be packaged, the directive was discriminatory and hence the association moved the PIL seeking setting aside of the three orders of FSSAI passed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

After hearing the submissions, the court observed, “The petitioner seeks to undo what the authority proposed to do for the benefit of consumers and therefore, it is thoroughly misconceived. We order the petitioner to deposit Rs1 lakh to the advocates’ Covid-19 welfare fund.” The court said that it will pass a detailed and reasoned order later and dismissed the petition.

Categories: NEWS

324 kg cottage cheese worth Rs 58,000 seized in Barwala near Chandigarh

19,October, 2020 Leave a comment
 

The raid was conducted at 6 am on Tuesday following the tip off that cottage cheese was being sold at Barwala in Haryana

Officials from the food and drugs administration, Panchkula, and the Haryana chief minister’s flying squad examining cottage cheese seized at Barwala in Haryana.

Acting on tip-off that adulterated cottage cheese (paneer) was being sold at Barwala in Haryana, officials from the food and drugs administration, Panchkula, and the chief minister’s flying squad, seized 324 kilograms of the milk product after a raid. It was estimated to cost Rs 58,000.

Samples have been sent to a laboratory in Karnal for analysis.

The raid was conducted at 6 am on Tuesday following the tip off that cottage cheese was being sold from a rented room in Barwala.

Panchkula food safety officer, Dr Gaurav Sharma, said he could not comment on the quality of the product till lab reports were received, which, he said, “have been sought in two days.”

Dr Sharma said product was being manufactured in Narwana and t brought to Barwala in a car. The sellers “had taken a room on rent where they used to store the paneer to supply to villages close by at cheap rates.”

In fact, the low price, Rs 160 to Rs 180, per kg, almost 50% less than market rates, had first raised suspicions, he added.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI -Advisories / Orders-September 2020

1,October, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: GO&NOTIFICATION

FSSAI- Draft Notification–September 2020

1,October, 2020 Leave a comment

♦ Draft Notification on Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Regulations, 2020 prescribing the revision of label declaration on the package of food which is permitted to contain the sweetener  [Uploaded on : 18-09-2020]

♦ Draft Notification on Food Safety and Standards Rules (Amendment) Regulations, 2020  [Uploaded on : 04-09-2020]

  • Objections and suggestions, if any, may be addressed to the Shri Neeraj Sachdeva, Under Secretary, Food Regulation Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Room No.757, A Wing, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi, or may be sent through e-mail at neeraz[dot]s[at]nic.in and av[dot]gawai[at]nic.in

♦ Draft Notification on Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Amendment Regulations, 2020  [Uploaded on : 03-09-2020]

♦ Draft to amend in Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 with respect to Soya sauce, walnut kernel, grape seed oil, exemption of imported expelled oil from refining ,black pepper, dried sage, fermented soya products, oat products etc.  [Uploaded on : 03-09-2020]

♦ Draft to amend Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011 prescribing addition of Indigo Caramine or Brilliant Blue up to 10ppm in non-edible ice  [Uploaded on : 03-09-2020]

♦ Draft to amend Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (Transaction of Business and Procedures for the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels) Regulations, 2016 related to revision of quorum of meeting of the Scientific Committee or Scientific Panel or Working Group and drawing up of agenda in consultation with Chairperson of the concerned Scientific Panel or Scientific Committee  [Uploaded on : 03-09-2020]

Categories: DRAFT