The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) vide an advisory dated 11th October 2019 has made certain directions for handling of dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) as cooling agent for food products. Dry ice is used primarily as a cooling agent for food items like frozen dessert, ice cream etc. Its advantages include lower temperature than that of water ice and not leaving any residue. It is useful for preserving frozen foods where mechanical cooling is unavailable. Generally dry ice is not dangerous if it is stored and used correctly. But if not used properly, dry ice may become dangerous to human health because it is extremely cold and quickly sublimates into carbon dioxide gas which could cause breathlessness. So, to minimize the risks, FSSAI by this advisory has given the following directions to Food Business Operators (FBOs) on proper handling of dry ice:
- FBOs using dry ice as cooling agent for food products are directed to avoid keeping or storing or transporting dry ice in a closed environment which will lead to breathlessness due to carbon dioxide gas emission.
- FBOs are directed to take precautions to ensure that the area in use for storing dry ice is properly ventilated to avoid any health risk.
- Commissioners of Food Safety of all states and UT are requested to initiate awareness programs on proper handling of dry ice by FBOs and citizens.