The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on 18th June 2020 issued a direction regarding compliance of provisions relating to 6 monthly testing report of food product during COVID-19 lockdown.
As per Clause 12 of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 the food business operator shall have a quality control programme in place which includes inspection and testing of incoming, in-process and finished products. And each category or type of finished food product shall be tested as per FSS standards & regulations at least once in six months. In case adequate in-house test facilities are not available, a system shall be in place for testing these materials in an NABL accredited external laboratory.
In this regard FSSAI has receiving representations from Industry Association and FBOs that they are facing difficulties in compliance with the provisions of 6 monthly testing report of food products and maintenance of records as per Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 due to nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Taking into consideration the difficulties, FBOs decided to give relief to FBOs and held that FBOs shall not be penalized if they have not maintained such record during lockdown period. However, such compliance must be completed within 2 months after lockdown is over.