Through a notification the FSSAI has made some clarifications regarding mandatory food safety audit of Food Businesses that hold a Central License and fall under the high-risk categories in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2018. This order is in continuation with the previous order dated 13 August, 2019.
Following the 13 August 2019 order, the FSSAI has received a large number of queries from food businesses as well as auditing agencies. The FSSAI has clarified all these queries below;
Query 1: When does the order come into effect?
Clarification: The order has come into effect from the date of issue of the order dated 13 August 2019. However, the food businesses directed for mandatory audits should get the first audit of their premises by 31 December, 2019.
Query 2: Is it mandatory to do audit of the complete chain (manufacturing, storage, transport, packaging etc.) involved in the high-risk product categories?
Clarification: It is important to do the mandatory audit of the complete chain from manufacturing to transport, storage etc. to follow good hygienic practices. However, in the initial stage only the food businesses involved in the manufacturing and processing sector under the product categories mentioned in the order of 13 August 2019 should ensure mandatory audit of their premises.
Query 3: Can an audit agency audit a food business that they have already certified or have provided training to them?
Clarification: No, they cannot do the audit. As per section 12 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2018 an auditing agency or its auditor should not have provided any training, guidance, food safety certification or consultancy and also not carried out internal audits of the food business or its parent or subsidiary for the last two years.
All Food Businesses are hereby directed to comply with the contents of the order that 13 August 2019 read along with these clarifications.