As a responsible member of the food sector you probably already have a food license. And if you are running your business on the basis of a license made under the previous food Acts then you need to convert that to a license under the FSS Act 2006. If you have not done that then you have very little time left to convert to the new license.
Through a notification dated 13 July 2016 the FSSAI has made amendments to the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, which relates to the time period for getting a food license. These regulations have been called the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) First Amendment Regulations, 2016. Through these regulations the FSSAI has changed the time limit for getting the licenses for food businesses from thirty six months to sixty months from the date on which the regulations came into force, which is 2011, so maximum food operators can get their licenses.
If you calculate the time period for obtaining the license from 2011 you will realise that time is running out. A few weeks back FSSAI already announced that for converting licenses/ registrations under previous Acts to FSS Act 2006, they would no longer extend the dates beyond 4th August 2016. So if you need to convert your old licenses to the FSS Act 2006 you will need to move fast. Apply for your licenses immediately as a licence gives you the confidence that you are FSSAI compliant and so can concentrate on running your business successfully. You will also gain the trust of consumers as a reliable food business.
As a food business operator you obviously want to run a sound business and create a brand name. One of the ways to achieve this is to ensure that you have a valid food license. A number of businesses prominently display their licenses on their premises as it enhances their credentials as a legitimate food establishment. A food establishment that does not have a valid license could be penalised as per the regulations. It is entirely to your benefit to comply with FSSAI regulations and enjoy complete peace of mind and run your business as a successful venture that also enjoys customer confidence.
In this age of instant communication and widespread international travel consumers have become aware of food safety, the FSSAI as well as the requirement of food licenses. Most consumers would naturally prefer eating out or purchasing food from outlets that are licensed as that means the establishments are FSSAI compliant and therefore the food is likely to be safe and of high quality. Most consumers have become health conscious and so prefer clean premises where food is likely to be free of contamination, adulteration and prepared keeping in mind hygienic standards. A licensed establishment can easily gain the trust of consumers and so they will continue to patronise it on a regular basis.
The food regulators as well as consumers play an important role in ensuring food quality and safety. However, it is in the interest of Food Business Operators to also willingly participate in food safety. FSSAI grants licenses only after it is satisfied that food establishments are in compliance with the regulatory requirements. So the ultimate responsibility rests with the Food Business Operators to ensure their food business is FSSAI compliant so they can be granted the mandatory license at the earliest.