In a recent development, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has revisited directives concerning the display of “Best Before date” for non-packaged or loose sweets.
Under Section 16(5) of the FSS Act, 2006, dated 25.09.2020, FSSAI mandated the compulsory declaration of “Best Before date” on containers/trays for non-packaged sweets. This mirrored requirements for packaged foods under the now-superseded FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
With the emergence of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020, superseding the earlier packaging and labeling regulations, a reevaluation of the directive became imperative. Upon review, it was noted that further discussions by the Scientific Panel are needed to determine suitable date markings for non-packaged or loose food products.
In light of these considerations, the previously issued directions dated 25.09.2020 under Section 16 (5) have been withdrawn until a subsequent decision is made by the FSSAI. It’s important to highlight that Food Business Operators (FBOs) now have the option to voluntarily declare the “Best Before date” on containers or trays holding non-packaged sweets.
Implications for Food Business Operators:
While awaiting a final decision from FSSAI, FBOs now have the flexibility to decide whether to include a “Best Before date” voluntarily. This offers businesses the ability to adapt to potential changes in regulations while maintaining a commitment to transparency and consumer awareness.
This update underscores FSSAI’s commitment to ensuring that regulations align with the evolving standards and practices within the food industry. The withdrawal of the previous directive allows for a more comprehensive examination of the implications of “Best Before date” declarations on non-packaged sweets. As the matter undergoes further deliberations, FBOs are encouraged to stay informed and consider voluntary compliance in the meantime, reflecting the adaptability and responsiveness of the regulatory framework in the food sector.