19 June 2018 | Column | By NFS Correspondent
Recently, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had ordered third party audit of few central government educational institutions. Majority of such units run in the name of hostel mess, canteen and cafeterias either failed in the audits or needed improvements. What was most surprising that many such units did not even have license under Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food businesses) Regulations, 2011 and were approved by the authorities of educational institutes.
In this background, FSSAI has clarified that –
Now, few questions can crop up –
It appears that these clarifications are more like a warning bell for all canteens being run in central government institutions. It may prove to be a cause of major embarrassment for the government if canteens run in their own premises re adjudicated to be in violation of laws and penalties are imposed upon them. Therefore, before that happens, such canteens have been warned through audits. Further, it is possible that at some of these places such canteens may be being run under the direct supervision of a government department. In that scenario, concerned person in that department may also be held responsible.
Now, let us see the situation of all the canteens run in private schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, companies etc. There are good chances that swiftest actions shall be taken under these private institutions. In fact, it has already been reported that in the past few days that food samples have been collected and sent for testing from many of the private schools. Therefore, there is an urgent need for these organisations to set their house in order from the perspective of the Food safety and standards Act, rules and regulations made thereunder. Some of the steps which they can immediately take are as follows: -
Over all, these clarifications and directions by FSSAI are welcome steps which would force many food business operators to follow the food safety laws and could catalyse them in conforming to the prescribed standards.
- Kunal Kishore, Joint Partner, Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan