The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) vide a press release dated 23rd April 2020 has enumerated the steps taken by FSSAI to ensure un-interrupted food services/supply as well as industry facilitation during the lockdown period. The Key steps have taken by FSSAI in the COVID lockdown period includes-
- Import clearances of food items and food testing laboratories have been classified as Essential Services during the COVID-19.
- Provisional clearance for the consignments of imported crude oils (edible grade) and food grains has been allowed till 30th May 2020. Provision has been made to receive online applications and fee for review of rejected food import cases.
- Import of special food Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) conditions and hypoallergenic conditions, FSSAI has extended till 01st November 2020 through Delhi and Mumbai ports.
- FSSAI has allowed FBOs, in logistic supply chains, other than manufacturers, to temporarily operate their businesses on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI license/ registration application.
- Licenses requiring renewal during 22nd March to 31st May 2020 have been allowed a penalty waiver and grace period till 30th June 2020.
- The returns to be filed by food businesses have been extended till 31st July 2020.
- Modification fee for FBO’s has been reduced from one-year license fee to Rs 1,000 only.
- A guidance note titled “Food Hygiene and Safety Guidelines for Food Businesses during Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic” has been released that covers best practices/ guidelines to be followed by food handlers to maintain high standards of personal hygiene and safe food practices.
- Initiated online training module for food handlers on the essentials of food safety and hygiene practices during COVID-19.