Through a letter dated 25 June, 2020 the FSSAI has extended the timeline for compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus Food) Regulations, 2019. FSSAI had formulated these regulations to ensure food safety and quality in the food safety ecosystem in the country. As per FSSAI notice dated 26 July 2019, the Food Business Operators had to comply with all the provisions of the above-mentioned regulations by 1 July, 2020.
The FSSAI has now decided to extend the timeline for compliance for the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus Food) Regulations, 2019 has been extended to 1 January 2021. As the date for compliance has been extended so, in the meantime, the Surplus Food Business organisations must comply with the food hygiene measures that are provisioned in the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011.
FSSAI has decided to extend this date as FBOs are facing several difficulties due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the surplus food distribution agencies and the food business operators require additional time to develop their Food Safety Management Systems, which they will need for safe handling of surplus food for distribution.
About Food Safety Management System (FSMS)
It is to ensure food safety that aFood Safety Management System or FSMS programme exists and Food Business Operators use it to provide safe food for human consumption. An FSMS programme means adopting Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
Under FSS Act 2006, it is mandatory for all FBOs to have an FSMS programme which has been chalked out by FSSAI in the regulations and FBOs are required to follow it. Any FBO that applies for License or Renewal of License has to submit FSMS programme documents along with the application for license. A well designed FSMS programme, with appropriate control measures can help food establishments to comply with food hygiene and food safety and will further strengthen the food safety system.
As per FSS regulations the FSMS programme needs to be specific for each FBO and in accordance with the type of food business they operate. The main documents consist of the following
- FSMS plan is an important document that defines each step in the operation, the identified hazards, method for controlling the hazard, critical limit, method for monitoring for critical threat, corrective action, responsibility and record keeping.
- FSMS flow chart which is the representation of the process each FBO undertakes and it provides an understanding of the processes and activities
- FSMS inspection checklist which an authorized person periodically checks and marks with their observations.
With the help of the FSMS plan, the FBOs can take corrective actions based on the observation present in the checklist.