The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued a detailed document for the fruit processing industry that can be used as a guide to ensure that their manufacturing units are in compliance with regulations. The guidelines will also help the food business operators to ensure that the food being processed in their units is safe for the consumers. Processed fruit manufacturers need to ensure that the processed fruit products do not contain any chemical, physical or microbial contaminants. Processed fruit includes all forms of processing other than peeling, cutting and surface treating fresh fruit.
FSS Act, Rules & Regulations require that all FBOs have to submit FSMS program related documents along with the application of license/renewal.
The following guidelines would help FBOs on the requirements for self compliance checks:
Location and layout of the establishment
- Your factory is located away from industries that let off harmful gases, chemicals or odious smells
- The ceiling is permanent and is covered with either Iron-sheet, Asbestos sheet or R.C.C
- The floor of building is cemented, tiled or laid in stone and has a pakka floor.
- The walls are smooth and are made of impervious material up to 5ft.
- The premises of the factory are well lighted and ventilated and that all walls are whitewashed
- There is a proper refuse and effluent disposal system in place
- There is adequate drainage facility in the food production area
- There are proper outlets like chimney or exhaust fans for smoke and steam if there cooking is done on open fire
- Fans are installed at the proper height
- There are air curtain/ strip curtains and automatic door closers on doors
- There is net or screen fitted on doors and windows to prevent insects from entering the food production area
- There are clean insect proof meshes and screens fitted on windows
- There is provision for antiseptic disinfectant and footbath at the entrance if internal and external shoes are not separate
- There are sufficient number of toilets for workers located outside the fruit processing area
- Machinery is installed in a manner that there is continuous flow of productions and which permits and permits hygienic production and easy cleaning and maintenance
Equipment and Fixtures
- equipment is clean, washed and dried and free from moulds and fungi
- you use only those containers and vessels that are not likely to cause metallic contamination
- table tops and surfaces used for food preparation are made of close joint and impervious material
- equipment is made of stainless steel, galvanised iron or of non corrosive materials
- there are appropriate facilities for the cleaning and disinfecting of equipment and instruments and there is preferably a cleaning in place (CIP) system adopted wherever necessary
FBOs must provide
- suitable aprons, head cover, disposable gloves and footwear to workers
- adequate toilet facilities, hand wash, footbath detergent/bactericidal soap, hand drying facility and nail cutter
- arrangements to get the staff medically examined once in six months to ensure that they are free from infectious, contagious and other diseases
- inoculations for food handlers so they are vaccinated against the enteric group of diseases
- proper supervision so that workers suffering from a hand or face injury, skin infection or clinically recognizable infectious or contagious disease do not enter the processing area
- posters in local language with ‘do’s & don’ts’ are placed in prominent places where workers can read them
- checks to ensure that there is no smoking and spitting in the food process/handling areas
FBOS must see that there is
- adequate supply of potable water available
- appropriate facilities for safe and clean storage of water
- provision for water to be examined chemically and bacteriologically by a NABL accredited laboratory
- potable water for ice and steam wherever they are used in processing
- a separate mark applied on the pipelines to identify potable and non-potable water
- adequate and efficient waste disposal system and no accumulation of waste
- adequate protection for lighting fixtures in all departments/areas
Food Operations & Control
FBOs must ensure that
- There are facilities for hygienic handling and protection of raw materials and of non– packed or non-wrapped products during loading and unloading, transport and storing including cooling facilities
- There are proper facilities for cleaning and disinfecting of tanks in use
- There are appropriate arrangement for storage of food and food ingredients and that foods are adequately segregated, labeled and a stock rotation system is followed
- There is a raised platform with sides and table top that is sufficiently protected to prevent contamination
- There are systems in place to adequately maintain time- temperature control at the time of storage as per the product requirements
- The source and standards of raw material, food additives, ingredients and packaging material wherever applicable conform to regulations laid down under the Act.
- Equipment has a temperature indicator.
- All specific process controls/temperatures are maintained and recorded
- The receiving section is away from the processing area to prevent contamination
- A separate area is provided for packaging of various products under satisfactory hygienic conditions
- Conveyance and transportation of food being is carried out in an appropriate state of cleanliness
- There are valid weight and measure certificates for weighing scales and weights from a Designated Authority
- The products are properly stacked on pallets at least one foot away from wall
- Details of vehicles used for transportation of products are maintained in stipulated format
Audit/Documentation and Records
FBOs must have
- in place adequate documented system SOPs for core processes like procurement, storage, processing, packing, etc.
- available records of daily production, raw material utilized and sales
- a periodic audit of the whole system according to the Standard Operating Procedure regarding Good Manufacturing Practices/Good Hygienic Practices (GMP/GHP) system.
- appropriate records of food processing/ preparation, food quality, laboratory Test results, pest-control etc for a period of 1year or the shelf-life of the product; whichever is more.
- records of sale and purchase that the food product is sold to registered/Licensed vendor and raw material purchased from registered/licensed supplier.
- a documented recall plan is available & traceability is implemented to assure effectiveness of recall plan
Food Testing Facility
FBOS must ensure that
- Raw fruit/vegetable testing facility/parameters are available at the reception
- In-house laboratory is available for testing of fruits and vegetables
- Test report from own or NABL accredited/FSSAI notified labs as regards microbiological contaminants in food items are available
Cleaning and Maintenance
FBOS must ensure that
- Cleaning and sanitation program is documented, implemented and the record of the same is properly maintained
- Food preparation areas are cleaned at regular intervals, with water and detergent and disinfectant
- The fruit receiving area is equipped with cleaning facilities
- Approved waste water disposal system is hygienically operated
Pest control System
FBOS must ensure that
- Treatment with permissible chemical, physical or biological agents within the permissible limits are carried out
- Adequate control measures are in place to prevent insect and rodents from entering the processing area
Production Information and Consumer Awareness
All packaged food products must carry label and requisite information as per Regulations
FBOs must ensure that
- Food production personnel and production floor managers, supervisors, food handlers have all undergone appropriate food hygiene training and records maintained for the same
- Training programs are reviewed and scheduled to meet the hygiene compliance by food handlers.