Section 31 of Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 mandates that every food business operator is required to obtain FSSAI license or registration prior commencing any food business. The implementation of FSSAI Act 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder’ depends upon the FSSAI License and Registration number.
The food business ecosystem is large and the FSSA I number of any food business operator is not easily visible and available to consumer/service recipient. Any credible regulatory structure depends upon robust customer grievance system wherein service/ product recipients can complaint for redressal. However, if the FSSA I number is not available to him, expecting him to complain with complete coordinates is an uphill task. Even regulators find it difficult to trace the origin of complaint and attend to it promptly with approximate addresses. No database can be created without a unique locator code, which in case of food safety is the FSSAI number .
Presently, FSSAI number is compulsory to be displayed on packaged food labels but the issue lies especially in case of establishments such as restaurants, mithai Shops, caterers, even retail stores etc. FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations are being amended to mandate display of ‘Food Safety Display Boards at all times at prominent places in case of Restaurants. However there remains deficit a mechanism for consumer to know the FSSAI number of the service/ product provider.
Now, with the approval of Food Authority, it has been decided to mandate declaration of 14-digit FSSAI License oi Registration number on cash receipts/ purchase invoices/cash memo /bills etc. by all food businesses. When any operator issues 2 transaction documents such as in case of transporters issuing transport cha1lan/ Bill etc. and an invoice, then FSSAI number needs to be mentioned on both documents. The only exemption will be the GST e-way bill and such other govt documents which ai e system generated.
It shall enable the consumers to leave access to information about a particular food business which is publicly available at FSSAI’s portals. Consumers can visit the FSSAI’s portal and ‘Food Safety Connect’ app for’ accessing information about FSSAI License or Registration by inputting the 14 digit FSSAI License/Registration number.
In case of any grievance, a consumer can lodge an online complaint against a particular food business using the FSSAI number. Many complaints remain unresolved due to facts of specific information.
Mentioning of FSSAI number shall also improve the overall awareness of FSSAI. If not mentioned, it shall indicate non-compliance or non-registration/ licensing by the food business. The requirement is expected to generate public demand and pressure for all FBOs to seek FSSAI licensed registration.
Even in case of pre-packaged food where the manufacturer’s FSSAI number is printed on the pack, there exist a deficit of track and trace mechanism whereby the path of the package from a manufacturer to consumer can be traced. The invoice helps establishing this trail with mentioning of the FSSAI number will help in improving traceabi1ity for food products.
No new transaction document is being mandated to be issued. The policy seeks to leverage the existing commercial transaction practice and the regulatory requirement under tax laws. Thus FSSAI seek to maintain the minimum compliance cost and still have enhanced data dissemination and disclosure.
In the view of the above, Food Businesses shall be required to mention FSSAI License or Registration number on cash receipts/ purchase invoices/cash memo /bills etc. Licensing and Registrations Authorities are directed to widely publicize the policy and shall ensure its implementation mandatorily w.e.f. 1st October, 2021.
Please drop one liner for FSSAI Registration/ License at reasonable cost.
Source: FSSAI Portal
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