In its order dated 5 February 2016, the FSSAI has again extended the date for obtaining license/registration in compliance to Food Safety & Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011. The FSSAI had already extended the date a number of times in the past, on the request of stakeholders who have appealed to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. In its previous extension, the apex food regulator had timeline by six months to 4th February 2016, whereas the stakeholders had demanded the extension time by one year. In the latest order FSSAI has extended the time line by another three months to 4th May 2016.
As per the notification, this extension is applicable to those Food Business Operators (FBOs) who have pre-existing licenses/ registration/ permissions obtained under the previous Act/ Order so that it is in compliance with sub-regulations 2.1.2 under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011. Though there is immense awareness among FBOs about the regulations and the need to run their operations only after they have a license/registration yet they continue to be slack about obtaining the compulsory license.
For running a food business without a license the penalty can be as high as Rs.5 lakhs. If someone carries out a food business without a registration then the fine can be as much as Rs.2 lakhs. Despite inviting a heavy penalty and FSSAI making it easy to apply online all food business operators have not yet obtained licensing or registration.
Many small food operators, vendors and retailers continue to run their operations without any licenses/ registrations, even though Section 31 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 clearly states that no food business activity shall be carried out without a valid license or registration. The unorganized food sector continues to operate along with the organized sector and it is often that those without licenses/ registrations endanger food safety and risk the health of consumers.
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