- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was constituted under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 that blends various acts and orders regarding food-related issues regulated with Ministries and Departments.
- It was created for formulating scientific-based standards of monitoring food in terms of manufacturing, storage, distribution, export, and import for ensuring the availability of safe and accurate quantities for human consumption.
- It falls under the purview of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that is responsible for the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
- The chairman of this authority is appointed by the Government of India. The Chairman is considered in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.
- This Act was framed to establish a high standard of food safety at multiple levels as an independent statutory Authority.
Functions of FSSAI under Food and Safety Standards Act, 2006
- The Act allows it to frame regulation and to lay down the standard and guidelines about food and imposing various other standards as a notified from time to time.
- Formulating and enforcing mechanisms for providing accreditation certificates to food safety management bodies and businesses.
- Framing and laying down rules and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and any notification for such laboratories.
- It also provides scientific advice and a technical support system to the Central Government as well as State Government in framing the policy in those areas that have a direct or indirect links with food safety and nutrition.
- Collecting and analyzing the data regarding the consumption, risk involved, contaminants in food, and identifying and rectifying the risks in a rapid alert system.
- Conducting training programs for people involved in food-related activities and business.
- Promotes general awareness about applicability and compliance with food safety and food standards.
Food Recall System and Procedure under FSSAI
The Definition of Recall
Recalls are actions taken to remove food items from the market at any level of the food chain, including those owned by consumers, that may represent a hazard to public health or that violate the Act or its rules and regulations.
Food recalls are in the best interests of the business, the government, and, most importantly, the consumer. Some basic features of this system are:
- This plan has been introduced for eliminating correcting marketed food products and their marking and labeling on violation of any law related to food safety of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India.
- Further, recall can be explained as a corrective step taken to eliminate food products in the market at any level of the food chain.
- It shall also include the food that is possessed by the Consumer that may be proved as a threat to the health of the public in violation of rules and regulations of the Act.
- This system is in the interest of the Food industry, the Central Government, and especially consumers.
- The wide distribution of food product recalls is said to be consumer-friendly in terms of protection and more efficient and effective than administrative or civil actions.
- The big manufacturers and distributors shall now voluntarily initiate this system as their obligatory responsibility to protect the health of the general public from the products that are at risk and gross negligence or defective in any form.
- On the other hand, the firms shall also adopt this system on the request and order of the regulatory authority.
Objective behind this Approach
- The above-mentioned guidelines are issued to provide help to Food Business Operators to conduct a recall plan that will help to implement the system as per the requirement shortly.
- This system will help in identifying the threats and challenges that are unsafe or that violate the Act or any provision thereof.
Role of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) in Recall plan
- This Authority will also ensure to monitor the progress of the recall system.
- It will also assess the appropriateness of the action taken by the Food Business Operators (FBO).
- Once the recall process is completed, the regulatory authority shall make sure that the products are properly destructed for suitable improvement.
- The concerned authority shall review and demand the license of the Food Business Operators on an instance of a manufacturing defect.
- The recall process shall be publicized for public awareness about the health hazards and redress all the public doubts.
- The authority shall also address the recall system in regard to public health and safety and other emergencies.
Under Section 28 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, lay down that if at any time Food Business Operator (FBO) believes with the specific reason that food which he is processing or processed, manufactured or distributed in past in past is not in accordance with the Statutory Act, rules or regulations then he shall withdraw the above-mentioned food product form the market as soon as possible by giving a reason of withdrawal in writing to the Competent Authority.
Hence, as per the information provided by the authorities, the recall systematic planning of food products is for the welfare of the food industry and for the people involved in such sector and for Consumers as well. It is formed for the protection of consumers from any kind of malpractices and other unlawful activities so that strict actions can be taken in an efficient manner.