FSSAI measures ensured uninterrupted food supply

Food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it had taken various measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items

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Food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said it had taken various measures, such as faster clearance of imported food products, to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential items during the ongoing lockdown. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food regulator said it was taking several steps to ensure uninterrupted food services/supply as well as industry facilitation during the lockdown period.
 
FSSAI said while food safety is its paramount concern, there is a need to facilitate food businesses to function in these trying times when the supply chains are badly affected. Listing out various steps taken by it, FSSAI said import clearances of food items and food testing laboratories (National Food Labs at NCR and Kolkata, and FSSAI accredited private laboratories) have been classified as essential services during the COVID-19 lockdown.
 
“To facilitate faster clearance, sampling is being allowed at Kochi International Container Trans-shipment Terminal itself…,” it said in a statement. It has allowed provisional clearance for the consignments of imported crude oils (edible grade) and foodgrains till May.
 
The regulator said that provision has been made to receive online applications and fees for review of rejected food import cases. To ensure the consistent supply of food for special medical purposes, which is food for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM) conditions and hypoallergenic conditions, FSSAI has extended the permission for their import for a further period of six months till November 1, 2020, through Delhi and Mumbai ports.
 
FSSAI has allowed food business operators (FBOs) in logistic supply chains, other than manufacturers, to temporarily operate their businesses based on a valid receipt of the FSSAI license/registration application having 17-digit Application Reference Number (ARN) generated on the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS).
 
Only in high-risk cases, e-inspections will be done to prevent delay in the processing of applications. Licences requiring renewal from March 22 to May 31, 2020, have been allowed a penalty waiver and grace period till June 30, 2020.
 
The returns to be filed by food businesses have been deferred till July 31, 2020. The modification fee for FBOs has been reduced from one-year license fee to Rs 1,000 only, it said. That apart, FSSAI has recently released a guidance note titled 'Food Hygiene and Safety Guidelines for Food Businesses during Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic’.
 
FSSAI has initiated through its flagship FoSTaC program, an online training module for food handlers on the essentials of food safety and hygiene practices during COVID-19 through its empanelled training partners.
 

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“Managing Intellectual Property” is a series of articles on intellectual property rights in the trade related matters. The series covers various dimensions of IPR, pertainign to the food processing industry, in the form of simplified legal text with suitable cases studies. We hope the series will benefit the food processors, policy makers, executives, managers, researchers, traders and other stakeholders in the processed food industry.Read More

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