The FSSAI has drafted a new regulation called the “Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus Foods) Regulations, 2019. The FSSAI has invited objections and suggestions on the draft regulation which must reach the FSSAI office by 11 March 2019. The draft regulations are as follows
CHAPTER I – GENERAL
Short title and commencement: These regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus Food) Regulations, 2019. They shall come into force on the date of their final publication in the Official Gazette.
Definitions: In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires
- “Act” means the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (34 of 2006);
- “food donor” means any person or food business operator who donates surplus food;
- “surplus food” means any leftover unused portions of safe food that have not been served to the customers
- “surplus food distribution organisation” means any person or any organisation that collects surplus food from food donor and distributes directly to any person free of cost without any profit.
All other words and expressions used herein and not defined, but defined in the Act, rules or
regulations made thereunder shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Act, rules or regulations, respectively.
Scope: These regulations specify the responsibility of the food donor and surplus food distribution organisation those are distributing the surplus food to any person free of cost.
Responsibilities of food business operator:
- Any food donor having surplus food may donate such food to any surplus food distribution organisation in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.
- The surplus food shall be maintained in accordance with the requirements specified in Schedule –I.
- The food business operator shall not distribute unsafe food to any surplus food distribution organisation.
- The surplus food shall be handed over to the surplus food distribution organisation at a reasonable time before it gets spoiled or its expiry, as the case may be, so
Labelling requirements of donated foods.
- The requirements for labelling of donated food depends on whether the food is in its original package or has been prepared a meal.
- Donated pre-packed food shall bear its complete original label, including the name of the item or food, manufacturer information, list of ingredients, and date of expiry.
- Donated prepared food shall be labelled with the name of the food, the source of the food, the date of preparation and last date of consumption and also specify whether the food is vegetarian or nonvegetarian.
- The information on the label shall not be masked in any manner.
Maintenance of record of surplus food
The food donor and surplus food distribution organisation shall maintain the record of surplus food as specified in Schedule II.
The Commissioner of Food Safety of the State or, as the case may be, union territories shall constitute a monitoring committee for surplus food at State level consisting of two members
from State enforcement agency, one representative from Department of Consumer Affairs of the respective state, one member from a non-governmental organisation, one representative from surplus food distribution organisation and one representative from industry association and other relevant stakeholders.
Functions of the monitoring committee
- The monitoring committee shall monitor and make recommendations on the improvement of the operations by the surplus food distribution organisation and food donors.
- The monitoring committee may also conduct training programs in health and hygiene for the food handler of food distribution organisation and also make recommendations on issues arising from the implementation of the provisions of these regulations.
Guidance and support by Food Authority:
- The Food Authority may issue guidelines on collection and retrieval of food, which is near to their expiry, for donation and provide guidance to support the operations of food business operators covered under these regulations.
- The Food Authority may also specify the time before the expiry, at which food shall be segregated.
Handling of surplus food by the food business operator
- Surplus foods that are to be handed over to food distribution organisation shall be safe and segregated in to perishable and non-perishable.
- The segregated food shall be packed appropriately so as to avoid contamination during handling and storage.
- Perishable and non-perishable surplus food shall be stored in hygienic condition at optimum temperature to ensure their safety.
- Surplus food shall not be kept with any waste material or products.
- The Food Donor shall give advance notice to the Food Distribution Organisation so as to ensure timely distribution and consumption of the food within its shelf life.
Handling and distribution of surplus food by the Food Distribution Organisation
- Surplus food shall be picked up from the food business operator’s facility and packed in clean and covered containers. Such food containers shall have the required date marking such as pick-up date and the use by date of food.
- Surplus food shall be stored and transported in appropriate hygienic condition at the appropriate optimum temperature suitable for perishable and non-perishable food separately. Insulated containers and ice packs, if necessary, may be used to maintain food temperature during handling and transportation.
- Transporting vehicle shall be cleaned on a regular basis and shall not be used for purposes other than delivering food.
- Surplus food shall be distributed or served to the needy before the expiry of surplus food or until food is fit for human consumption, as the case may be.
- Food that is not fit for human consumption shall be put in a container clearly marked as “Food for Disposal”.
- Food shall be stored off the floor and away from walls and non-food items. storage area, including the floor, pallets, and shelves shall be cleaned regularly.
- Where refrigerator is used for storage of surplus food, these shall be cleaned at least once a week to remove stains, ice particles, and food particles. The temperature in the refrigerator shall be maintained below 7o
- Doors, windows, and roofs of storage area shall be well sealed to prevent pest entry and a pest control program shall be in place for such areas.
- All employees or volunteers that work with distribution organisation and come in direct contact with food shall keep their fingernails trimmed and shall wear clean outer garments and wash their hands before starting work, and as often as necessary, especially after eating handling or using the washroom, etc.
- Avoid eating food, drinking beverages, or using tobacco in any form in areas where food is exposed, or in areas used for washing equipment or utensils shall be avoided.
- No person shall come in contact with food during any illness that is communicable through food. Cuts, boils, and wounds shall be covered.
- All employees or volunteers that work with distribution organisations and come in direct contact with food shall have training in health and personal hygiene.
Record of surplus food to be maintained
- Name and address of the food donor organisation
- Name and address of surplus food distribution organisation
- Donation date
- Name of the food product (item)
- Batch number of food product (item)
- Date of manufacturing
- Best before date or expiry date
- Quantity donated by food donor
- Temperature of food
- Quantity distributed by surplus food distribution organisation
- Area where food is distributed
- Date of distribution.