FSSAI gives nod to hygiene rating reports from govt recognised labs

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Hygiene Rating Scheme is a certification programme for the retail establishments and food services providing food directly to the consumers

The state Food Safety Commissioners and Regional Directors are informed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) that water and food testing reports for the purpose of hygiene ratings from government recognised labs, are accepted.

In this regard, the apex food regulator issued an order saying that in absence of a NABL accredited lab, the certification from a state government recognised lab can be accepted for hygiene rating.

The Executive Director, Compliance Strategy, FSSAI, Dr Shobhit Jain, however, clarified that such consideration was for the limited purpose of hygiene rating only.

The matter in question was pertaining to a hygiene rating scheme guidance document that requires a water and food testing report from a NABL accredited lab for licensed food businesses applying for hygiene rating certification.

The hygiene rating certificate should be displayed prominently in the food service premise in order to create demand for high levels of food hygiene standards. The ‘rating’ reflects the standards of food hygiene seen on the date of inspection by a recognised audit agency or the local authority, per Guidance Note issued by the FSSAI. 

The guidance document specifies in detail the key aspects to implement the Hygiene Rating Scheme in India. It is divided into 7 chapters and annexures. It also discusses the procedure of rating through self-assessment of compliance with food safety and hygiene protocols and structural requirements by FBOs followed by verification by various professionals or agencies.

The concept of re-verification of hygiene ratings was also introduced in order to help FBOs in improving food safety and hygiene and do their bit to promote healthy eating and sustainability.


Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, says, “The Hygiene Rating Scheme is important in developing a culture of self-compliance amongst FBOs, as well as creating awareness amongst the consumers. The scheme will allow consumers to make informed decisions/choices pertaining to the food outlets they eat at, by encouraging food businesses to improve their safety and hygiene standards.This will not only improve the quality of food supply but increase demand as well.”

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