Through a notification, the FSSAI has issued directions regarding statutory warning on alcoholic beverage labels. The Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations 2018 are scheduled to be enforced from 1 April 2019.
In Part 5, ‘Specific Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages Regulation’ under 5.12 of these regulations there is a specific requirement of a Statutory Warning to be printed in the English language on the label of Alcoholic Beverages in the following manner.
CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH BE SAFE- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
(The size of the statutory warning shall be less than 3mm)
The FSSAI has, however, now permitted States and UTs to print the above mentioned statutory warning in the local or regional language if the states/UTs have a desire to do so. In such cases where the warning is printed in other languages, then there would be no requirement of printing the same warning in English also.
Further, it has come to the notice of the FSSAI that the Statutory Warning specified by the Departments of Excise of the different States and UTs are not uniform and therefore, there is a need to ensure they are aligned as per specification as provided in regulation (5.12) of the said regulations.
The Food Safety Commissioners of the States and UTs have already been directed to ensure that the requirements of Statutory Warning are implemented uniformly as mentioned above from 1 April 2019. They must do so in consultation and coordination with the Department of Excise of the various States/ UTs.