With the aim of encouraging individuals and organizations to donate surplus food for those in need, the FSSAI has drafted the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of surplus food) Regulations, 2019 with the aim of encouraging individuals and organisations to donate surplus food in a legitimate manner.
The purpose of these regulations is:
- To establish a uniform national regulation to protect organizations andindividuals when they donate food in good faith
- To encourage the donation of food and grocery products to non-profitorganizations for distribution to needy individuals
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 publication in the Official Gazette and Food Business Operator shallcomply with all the provisions of these regulations by 1st July, 2020.
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;
“Schedule” means a schedule annexed to these regulations;
“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 fooddonor 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 madethereunder, shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Act, rules or regulations, respectively.
These regulations specify the responsibility of the food donor and surplus food distribution organisations thosewho are engaged in 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 anysurplus 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 surplus food distribution organisation at a reasonable time before it getsspoiled or its expiry, as the case may be, so that the food is made available to needy persons for consumption within theshelf life of the food.
- Responsibilities of surplus food distribution organisation
- Surplus food distribution organisation which isserving food to needy person shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards(Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011 and such foods shall be obtained from reliable sourceshaving valid registration or license in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
- The surplus food distribution organisation shall have proper facilities for transport, storage and reheating, and shallcomply with the requirements specified in Schedule-I.
- No surplus food distribution organisation shall distribute surplus food after the expiry of its shelf life.
- Labelling requirements of donated foods
- The requirements for labelling of donated food depends on whether thefood is in its original package or has been prepared as meal.
- Donated pre-packed food shall bear its complete original label, including name of the item or food, manufacturerinformation, 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 andlast date of consumption and also specify whether the food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
- 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 maintainthe record of surplus food as specified in Schedule-II.
- Monitoring Committee– The Commissioner of Food Safety of the State or, as the case may be, the Union territoryshall constitute a monitoring committee for surplus food at State level consisting of two members from State enforcementagency, one representative fromDepartment of Consumer Affairs of the respective State, one member from nongovernmental organisation , one representative from surplus food distribution organisation and one representative fromindustry association and other relevant stakeholders.
- Functions of 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 offood distribution organisation and also make recommendations on issues arising from implementation of the provisionsof these regulations.
- Guidance and support by Food Authority
- The Food Authority may issue guidelines on collection andretrieval of food, which is near to their expiry, for donation and provide guidance to support the operations of foodbusiness operators covered under these regulations.
- The Food Authority may also specify the time before the expiry, at which food shall be segregated.
(see regulation 4 and 5)
Handling of surplus food by the food business operator
- Surplus foods that are to be handed over to fooddistribution 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 ensuretheir safety.
- Surplus food shall not be kept with any waste material or products.
- The food donor shall give an advance notice to the surplus food distribution organisation so as to ensure a timelydistribution and consumption of the food within its shelf life.
Handling and distribution of surplus food by the surplus 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 clean and sanitized vehicles in appropriate hygienic condition atappropriate optimum temperature suitable for perishable and non-perishable food separately. Insulated containers and icepacks, if necessary, may be used to maintain food temperature during handling and transportation. Food transport equipment/ utensils that are intended to be in direct contact with food products should be constructed with non-toxic,food grade materials, which shall also be easy to clean and maintain.
- Surplus food shall be distributed or served to the needy before the expiry of surplus food or until food is fit for humanconsumption, 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, palletsand 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, iceparticles 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 shallbe in place for such areas.
- All employees or volunteers that work with distribution organisation and come in direct contact with food shall keeptheir finger nails trimmed and shall wear clean outer garments and wash their hands before starting work, and as often asnecessary, 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 usedfor 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 andwounds shall be covered.
- All employees or volunteers that work with distribution organisations and come in direct contact with food shallhave training in health and personal hygiene.
(see regulation 7)
Record of surplus food to be maintained
(1) Name and address of the food donor organisation
(2) Name and address of surplus food distribution organisation
(3) Donation date
(4) Name of the food product (item)
(5) Batch number of food product (item)
(6) Date of manufacturing
(7) Best before date or expiry date
(8) Quantity donated by food donor
(9) Temperature of food
(10) Quantity distributed by surplus food distribution organisation
(11) Area where food is distributed
(12) Date of distribution.