Through an Order dated 21 June 2018 the FSSAI has notified the time limit for testing samples that have been sent to referral laboratories on the appeal of Food Business Operators to Designated Officers.
According to Rule 2.4.6 ‘Appeal to the Designated Officer’ in the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011, inter alia prescribes that the Designated Officer, on an appeal made by the FBO, shall, if he so decides to do so, forward one part of the sample to the referral laboratory and the report of the referral laboratory shall be final in this regard. However, no time limit has been prescribed in the ibid rules for submitting this analysis report back to the Designated Officer by the concerned referral laboratory. (Rule 2.4.6 Appeal to the Designated Officer is as follows
- When an appeal as provided under subsection 4 of section 46 is preferred to the Designated Officer by the Food Business Operator against the report of the Food Analyst, the Designated Officer, shall if he so decides, within thirty days from the receipt of such appeal after considering the material placed before him and after giving an opportunity to Food Business Operator to be heard shall forward one part of the sample to the referral lab. Such appeal shall be in Form VIII which shall be filed within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the copy of the analysis report from the Designated Officer. Report of the referral laboratory shall be final in this regard.
- The Designated Officer shall forward one part of the sample under the appropriate condition as specified for the product including transport, to retain the integrity of the sample. The cost of analysis of the sample shall be borne by the Food Business Operator. The remaining samples will also be safely kept under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration.)
However, through this order, the FSSAI has clarified and directed that the referral laboratories must send their analysis report within
- 5 working days for the receipt of sample(s) in case of the chemical as well as microbiological testing
- 10 working days in case the sample (s) involves extended microbiological testing (example Clostridium spores in canned foods)
This order will be followed with immediate effect and until any further order or until such time as appropriate amendments in the ibid Rules are made whichever, is earlier.