The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of stapler pins in tea bags from January 2018. FSSAI ban order issued under Section (15) FSS Act, 2006 has deemed that any loose staple pin consumed inadvertently with tea may cause a serious health hazard.
Currently, tea bags are either stapled or knotted. According to industry estimates, the tea bag segment contributes 3-4% by value of total tea sales but it is one of the fastest growing segments at 50-60% year-on-year.
The FSSAI order directs the concerned food business operators to discontinue the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of stapled tea bags by 1 January 2018. It also directs all food safety commissioners to take action to prevent the use of unsafe packaging materials by companies and take up measures for enforcement of its order.
FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through the regulation and supervision of food safety. FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.