Hoteliers in India have exhibited their anxiety after the guidelines issued by FDA, in compliance to The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, because they think that the law is not same for all. There are nearly 7,000 restaurants in Mumbai and almost all of them are registered with the state FDA as per FSSAI guidelines.
Hoteliers challenge the law on this point that, it is ambiguous on what is under the scope of restaurant’s liability and what not. They contest their cause by quoting an example, suppose a specific vegetable or fruit is grown by a farmer, by using pesticide, then the hoteliers will be held liable under the provisions of new law and not the farmer.
Another provision of the new law, which is a big concern for the hoteliers is that, it has been made mandatory for them to obtain raw materials from suppliers who are registered under the Act. They give a plea that they don’t have control on the individual registrations of the stockists. They said that it is not possible for them to actively control the supply side of the food materials and they can not keep a check on every dealer. They also opined that the provision of Schedule 4 of General Hygienic and Sanitary Requirements to wear gloves while cooking also seems unachievable as frying the South Indian Snacks with wearing gloves in not possible.
The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) is against the vagueness in the central provisions. Restaurant owner’s primary concern is that they have to suffer for the fault of either hawkers or suppliers. There is provision for penalty upto Rs 5 lakhs, with imprisonment for a term of up to six months, if proved guilty of unsanitary conditions, which caused death or illness of a person after consumption of unhealthy food products.