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What is FSSAI? How It Ensures the Food You Eat is Safe

FSSAI is an important regulatory body of India that regulates food standards and safety.

Shipra Singh

FSSAI – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India – is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. FSSAI was set up in 2006 under Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA).  

The FSSAI is one huge umbrella under which various previous laws, regulations, and rules of food safety are integrated.  

The act consolidates the following 7 older laws: 

  • Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947

  • Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954

  • Fruit Products Order, 1955

  • Solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967

  • Meat Food Products Order, 1973

  • Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1988

  • Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

Main Function of FSSAI 

The main function of FSSAI is to promote and safeguard public health by regulating and supervising safety standards of food.  

It sets food standards and clears doubts, confusion, myths related to food and business related to food from the minds of manufacturers, traders, users, and anybody associated with the food industry directly or indirectly.  

To put it in simplest terms, the role of FSSAI is to ensure that the food you eat is safe and nutritious. That’s why they keep an eye on raw materials and everyone involved in the process, from the making of food to eating it and everything in between. They also set goals and plans, for example, they have just set a goal to ban the use of synthetic trans fats by 2022.  

The objective is: One Nation, One Food Law, as mentioned on the website of FSSAI.  

How FSSAI came into existence? 

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, the former Union Minister, Government of India, formed FSSAI on August 5, 2011. The body was established under FSSA, which was implemented in 2006. This is the primary law that regulates food products in India. Under this act, food safety standards are formulated and implemented in the country.  

FSSAI is comprised of one chairperson and 22 members. It appoints authorities for food safety at the state level.  

Chief aims of FSSAI 

  • Formulation of science-based standards on food items

  • Regulation of manufacturing, distributing, storing, selling, and importing of food

  • Facilitation of food safety

“Safe, wholesome and hygienic food will create Swasth Bharat. This has to be cornerstone of the efforts of FSSAI” – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as mentioned on the website of FSSAI.  

Statutory Powers of FSSAI under FSSA  

  • Formulating regulatory laws for food safety standards

  • Contributing towards the development of global technical food standards 

  • Creating guidelines to provide accreditation to food testing laboratories

  • Collecting and organizing data related to food consumption, emerging risks, contamination, and other such factors

  • Offering technical support and scientific guidance to the Central Government 

  • Disseminating authentic information and spreading awareness on food safety and nutrition in the country 

Chairperson of FSSAI is Ms. Rita Teaotia  

CEO of FSSAI is Shri Arun Singal, IAS.  

FSSAI headquarter is in New Delhi.  

FSSAI has 6 regional offices: in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Cochin. It has 14 referral labs, 72 state/UT labs across India, and has notified 112 private labs, which are NABL-accredited.  

FSSAI headquarter address: 

3rd and 4th floor,  

FDA Bhawan, Kotla Road,  

Near Bal Bhawan, New Delhi-110002. 

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