The FSSAI has issued an order dated 8 July 2021 related to clarification regarding frequency of mandatory product testing under Condition of License 12 of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011
FSSAI has drawn attention to the existing conditions of License No.12 under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 which is as follows
“Ensure testing of relevant chemical and/or microbiological contaminants in food products in accordance with these regulations as frequently as required on the basis of historical data and risk assessment to ensure production and delivery of safe food through own or NABL accredited / FSSAI notified labs at least once in six months.”
In this regard, various representations from FBOs / Food Industry Associations are being received by FSSAI with request to clarify whether the said periodicity is to be reckoned on the calendar year wise / financial year wise.
In order to align mandatory product testing with the submission of online Annual Return which is Financial Year wise. FSSAI has clarified that testing of food products as per ibid condition of license No.12 of the said regulations shall be carried out by the manufacturers on the basis of Financial Year i.e., first half of the year from April to September and second half year from October to March.
FSSAI has further clarified that those Food Business Operators who get their new licenses issued in the last months of the respective half-year i.e., in the month of September and March shall be exempted from mandatory testing for the preceding and ending half year period.
Further provided that the gap between two mandatory testing of the same food product shall not be less than 03 months.
About FSSAI Food Testing
FSSAI has stated that food testing and analysis is an essential part of the food safety ecosystem to assure that the food is safe to consume. To ensure this the FSSAI has strengthened the network of food testing laboratories so as to assure quality of food testing. In order to ensure food safety, the FSSAI believes in investing in human resources, carrying out surveillance activities and educating consumers.
FSSAI has developed an IT solution for Indian food laboratory network called InFoLNet. This laboratory management system (LMS) is a centralized system that connects and collates the network of laboratories. Apart from being the back bone of the network, this LMS will also be integrated to other FSSAI core IT systems, such as FLRS (Licensing and Registration), FICS (Import Clearance), Quick access, FoSTAC, etc. The centralized information will also have profound applications in deciphering risk analysis, enriching standards, capacity building and training.
FSSAI has also finalised 13 new manuals on methods of food analysis including Milk and Milk Products, Oil and Fats, Fruits and Vegetable products, etc. A Methods Review Group has been constituted to review manual of methods and update them, with experts from Scientific/Research Institutions, Regulatory Bodies, Independent Scientific experts (including instrumentation companies, private labs) etc.
As an essential part of the food safety ecosystem, the FSSAI has also created a network of 232 laboratories to fulfil its mandate on food testing and analysis. The network comprises of 142 accredited primary food-testing laboratories from both the government and private sector, 72 state food testing laboratories and 18 referral laboratories of which two are under the direct control of FSSAI.
Source : FSSAI