Through an order issued on 6 October 2017 the FSSAI has stated that as per FSS Act, 2006 mandatory training is required for all FBOs who have Central or State Licenses. As per the terms of Section 16 (3), the FSSAI has to ensure the training of persons who are involved in food business either as FBOs, employees or otherwise. The policy to make training and certification mandatory for all licensed food businesses was discussed in the 20th CAC Meeting held on 22 August 2017. The same was approved in principle by the Food Authority in its meeting held on 21 September 2017.
In view of the FSS, 2006 provision the FSSAI has decided
- To make it mandatory for all food businesses that have a Central or State licenses to have at least one trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor on their premises for every 25 food handlers or part thereof.
- Accordingly, the trained and certified Food Safety Supervisors would have to carry out onsite training of all food handlers, at least on a quarterly basis and maintain the record for food safety audit and inspections.
- Subsequently, all registered food handlers in petty food businesses would also be trained and certified.
To implement this policy the FSSAI has designed a large scale Food Safety Training & Certification Program (FoSTaC) for food businesses which will be applicable for businesses across the value chain. The curriculum and content have been created centrally while the training will be delivered through training partners that include FBOs, Academic and Vocational Institutes, Training Partners approved by the Skill Development Councils and Missions, Industry, Scientific, and Technology Associations as well as Civil Society Organisations. FoSTaC is to be steered and managed by each State/UT who would create an action plan and mobilize food businesses and other training partners to undertake the training. FSSAI has also set up a website for managing the training, assessment, and certification (https://fostac.fssai.gov.in)
The FSSAI has advised all States/ UTs to initiate a special drive to facilitate and take up FoSTaC for licensed FBOs under their jurisdiction immediately. The training will be made mandatory in phases over the next two years. The States/ UTs will need to designate a senior officer as FoSTaC Nodal Officer to implement the policy. All licensed FBOs also need to fill in and submit the ‘FoSTaC Form’ within four weeks of publication of this order.
Tasks for States and UTs
- Besides designating a Food Safety Nodal Officer the States/UT would also have to identify resource persons, master trainers, and trainers from food businesses, food technology, home science and nutrition colleges/ universities, industry associations and individual experts and professionals who would undertake the training.
- Develop an action plan and identify and facilitate empanelment of Training Partners and develop a pool of State Level Resource Persons as per prescribed credentials
- Help in translation and validation of the training content
- Coordinate with higher/technical education and training and skill development to include the training modules in related training and educational programmes
Types of Training Courses
Level 1 basis (5 courses)
- Street Food Vending
- Retail and Distribution
These courses will be of 4 to 6 hours duration over a period of 1 to 2 days.
Level 2 Advanced (4 courses)
- Storage and Transport
- Retain and Distribution
These courses will be of 8 hours over a period of one to two days
Level 3 Special (6 courses)
- Milk and Milk Products
- Meat and Poultry
- Fish and Sea Food
- Packaged Water
- Edible Oil
These courses will run for a duration of 4 hours in one day.
Additional and customized courses could be introduced later if the need arises. As of now, the courses are being offered offline face-to-face. This mode of training would continue but at a later stage and subject to availability of training partners, some other courses would be allowed in the online mode. Presently the training courses are available in English and are also being translated into Hindi and 10 other regional languages.