Yes, obtaining an FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) license is mandatory for food businesses in India. The FSSAI is the regulatory body responsible for ensuring food safety and setting standards for the food industry in India.
Under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, all food businesses operating in India are required to obtain an FSSAI license or registration, depending on the size and nature of their business. The license/registration is issued by the Food department and signifies that the food business complies with the necessary hygiene and safety standards set by the authority.
For whom it is mandatory to obtain the FSSAI License In India?
In India, any individual or entity involved in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, and sale of food products is required to obtain a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India license. This includes a wide range of food businesses, such as:
- Food manufacturers and processors
- Food importers and exporters
- Food retailers, including grocery stores, supermarkets, and online platforms
- Food caterers and hotel/restaurants
- Food transporters and logistics providers
- Food warehouses and cold storage
- Food vending businesses, such as food stalls, food trucks, and street food vendors
The primary objectives of FSSAI
- Framing and enforcing food safety and quality standards across the food industry in India.
- Licensing and regulating food businesses, ensuring they comply with the necessary hygiene and safety requirements.
- Conducting scientific research and providing guidance on matters related to food safety and nutrition.
- Creating awareness and promoting consumer education regarding food safety and healthy eating habits.
- Facilitating coordination between various governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in food safety and nutrition.
FSSAI Registration VS LICENSE
- The size or presence of the business is ideally what distinguishes a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Registration from an FSSAI License, followed by the yearly turnover of the business that is being recommended for registration.
- In addition, depending on the type of clearance sought, the price and registration process, including the document requirements, become more involved.
- An application for an FSSAI license is made in Form B, whereas an application for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India registration is made in Form A.
- Petty food businesses, also known as petty food operators or tiny scale businesses, are defined as Food Business Operators (FBO) with an annual revenue of less than 12 lakhs who operate for a producer or a seller of any article of food as a retailer, hawker, vendor, or on a temporary food stall. Such an FBO is necessary to fill out Form A, which is available on our webpage or on FSSAI, in order to receive a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Registration.
- An FSSAI registration certificate is provided for the same bearing a 14-digit registration number and a photo of the applicant once the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India authority validates the paperwork after the FBO fills out the application form and provides the necessary supporting documentation. This FBO is required to keep the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India granted certificate visible at all times when conducting the food business.
- However, before starting a business, an individual or person who falls under this category but not the one mentioned above must obtain a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India License.
Who Is Authorized by the FSSAI?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) authorizes various entities and individuals to ensure compliance with food safety standards and regulations. Here are some key stakeholders authorized by the FSSAI:
- Food Safety Officers (FSOs): FSOs are authorized officers appointed by the FSSAI to enforce food safety regulations. They are responsible for inspecting food businesses, collecting samples, and taking appropriate actions to ensure compliance.
- Designated Officers (DOs): DOs are authorized officers appointed by the FSSAI at the state and district levels. They oversee the implementation of food safety regulations, coordinate with FSOs, and take necessary actions to enforce compliance.
- Food Analysts: Food Analysts are authorized by the FSSAI to analyze food samples collected by FSOs. They conduct laboratory testing to determine the safety and quality of food products and provide expert opinions and reports.
- Authorized Food Safety Auditors: The FSSAI authorizes third-party auditors or certification bodies to conduct food safety audits and certifications for food businesses. These auditors assess the compliance of food businesses with FSSAI standards and issue relevant certifications.
- Notified Laboratories: FSSAI notifies laboratories that meet specific criteria and are authorized to carry out testing of food samples. These laboratories are accredited and recognized by FSSAI to provide reliable and accurate results for food testing.
- Food Business Operators (FBOs): FBOs are individuals or entities engaged in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, and sale of food products. They are required to obtain an FSSAI license/registration and comply with the regulations and standards set by FSSAI.
These authorized entities work collectively to ensure the safety and quality of food in India and to enforce compliance with the FSSAI regulations.