Through a letter dated 19 April 2018 addressed to Commissioners and Officers-in-Charge of Food Safety of all States and Union Territories, the FSSAI has pointed out that educational institutes across the country are violating the FSS Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations made thereunder.
According to the terms and provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Businesses) Regulation 2011, the CEO of FSSAI in his capacity as Food Safety Commissioner is permitted to initiate a food safety audit of Central Government Organisations, once in a year, through its own accredited agencies. Accordingly, the FSSAI recently had an audit conducted in the hostel messes and College/University canteens/ cafeterias of 11 Central Educational Institutions. The audits were conducted by a provisionally recognized third-party food safety auditing agency. The audit report indicated that out of the 11 institutions, 7 institutions failed the audits and the remaining 4 institutions needed improvement.
The observations made by the third party audits of canteen/cafeterias/messes being run in the premises of Central Government Institutions like IITs/AIIMS/IISC/IIMs/IISER, highlighted the following issues
- non-adherence to the general hygiene and sanitary practices as provided in Part-V of Schedule 4 of Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011
- most of the canteens /cafeterias/hostel messes did not have an FSSAI Registration/ License
In this context, the FSSAI has reinstated that Section 31(1) of FSS Act, 2006 stipulates that no person shall commence or carry on any food business/activity except under license. Since all catering units, operating such canteens/cafeterias/messes in the premises of Central Government Institutions, fall under the definition of FBOs, so they need to obtain a license or registration.
Accordingly, such canteen/cafeterias/messes being run in the premises of Central Government Institutions, if found violating any of the conditions of provisions contained in the FSS Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations made thereunder, would be subject to penal action.
FSSAI has asked Commissioners and Officers-in-Charge of Food Safety of all States and Union Territories to direct all such FBOs engaged in Catering Units i.e. hostel messes, canteens, cafeterias, etc.
- to take immediate action to apply for FSSAI license
- follow the General Hygiene and Sanitary Practices as responsible FBOs
- The FBOs can apply for a license online through FLRS portal https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/inde.aspx
- In case of any clarification, they may contact FSSAI’s Helpline No (#1800112100)
- or email at [email protected]
The FSSAI has also requested Commissioners and Officers-in-Charge of Food Safety to identify defaulting FBOs operating hostel messes and College/ University canteens, etc. and take strict action against them under the FSS Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations made thereunder and to ensure availability of safe and hygienic food in all such institutions.