Through its notification of 10 September 2020, the FSSAI has extended the timeline relating to Printing inks for use on food packages of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018.
The Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations 2018, were notified in the Gazette of India on 24 December 2018. In these regulations several IS standards are cross-referred with regard to packaging materials for mandatory compliance.
The IS standards are usually revised by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) based on the latest technological updates or on the basis of revision in the Global standards. Some of these standards are also referenced in Food Safety and Standards Regulations for mandatory compliance. It has been brought to the notice of the FSSAI that Food Business Operators (FBOs) sometimes face difficulties with respect to immediate compliance after revision of such standards and which are published by BIS.
Since FBOs are facing difficulties in the immediate implementation of these standards, the FSSAI has permitted FBOs to comply with these IS revised standards by either 1 January or 1 July as the case may be, subject to a minimum of 180 days transition period from the date of publication of such standards by BIS.
About Printing Ink for food packaging
BIS recently revised the standards of printing inks used for food packaging where a major change was the banning of toluene in food packaging inks. Toluene is generally used as a solvent in printing inks for packaging material. Almost all the printing ink used in food packaging in India contains some amount of toluene, mainly because it is cheaper. However, toluene can cause some health hazards and therefore several countries have banned the use of toluene in printing ink for food contact material and BIS has also banned its use. The new standards have been formulated to ensure that printing inks used for food packaging do not contain harmful chemicals that could get transferred to the packaged food.
Source : FSSAI