Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018 Current Affairs - 2020

FSSAI delinks front of packet labelling from general labelling

On December 18, 2019, the FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Association of India) announced that the front of packet labeling will be delinked from its general labeling regulation. The move is being implemented in order to make the consumers aware of food products that are high in fat, salt and sugar content.

Highlights

The authority has decided that the front of the pack and the general labeling regulations must be de-linked. The authority will soon provide threshold limit of sugar, salt and fat in food products. The Front of Packet Labeling helps to identify the green (vegetarian foods ) and red (non-vegetarian foods). It also includes pictorial representation of nutrients, food group nutrients and summary indicators, etc. This can at times be misleading as consumers fail to give a detailed read about the product.

Front of Pack Labelling

FoPL is a policy tool that help consumers to make healthier food choices. It was included for the first time in draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display Regulations), 2019. It aims at creating awareness to consumers about products that are high in sugar, fat and salt content. There are two aspects of FoPL namely threshold limit and the way the limit is depicted on packets of processed food.

Why the delinking?

Delinking is breaking the connection or cutting off. On December 17, the Centre for Science and Environment released a report based on its study on packaged food. The Centre tested 33 foods, 19 fast foods, four different types of wrapped sandwiches, fried chicken, pizza, etc. The results showed high content of salt and fat in the food items. The thresholds that the companies follow were not up to Indian Standards. Therefore, FSSAI has delinked the FoPL standards from labelling regulations and will set new threshold.

FSSAI guidelines to sweet manufacturers

Ahead of Diwali, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India issued guidelines to the sweet manufacturers. The team interacted with sweet manufacturers and tested food samples. They also gave them a 10-point guidelines.

Guidelines

  • The details of ghee, oil used in the preparation of sweets should be displayed on the box
  • The ingredients and presence of allergens should also be displayed on the label of the sweet
  • The milk sweets and other sweets should not be mixed in assorted gift packs. This is because, the milk sweets have different packaging, shelf life and norms from that of the other sweets
  • The sweet makers should wear gloves, head cover and aprons. They should possess credible fitness certificates. They should also hold water analysis report to assess the quality of water used for preparation.

FSSAI

The FSSAI is an autonomous body under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It was established under Foods Safety and Standards Act, 2006. It is responsible to protect and promote public health through regulation and supervision of food safety. The headquarters of FSSAI is located in Delhi and the regional offices are located in Kolkata, Guwahati, Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin and Chennai.