A license issued by India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority is a very important document for any operator of a food business. It is equally necessary, however, to ensure that the laws and regulations are followed so that your FSSAI License is never subject to revocation or suspension. Often, for certain reasons, food license is cancelled.
Section 32 of the Food Safety and Standards Act provides that the registration or licensing authority is entitled to suspend or terminate the license. The suspension may take place on the grounds that any rules and regulations issued by the FSSAI have not been complied with.
WHAT IS FSSAI REGISTRATION?
Registration of the FSSAI is a compulsory compliance guaranteeing the protection of food items supplied or produced by different establishments in India. It is a certificate of food protection issued by the Indian Food Authority.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), governed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, is regarded as the governing body responsible for food safety.
Before starting any food business operation in India, obtaining an FSSAI license is compulsory. A 14-digit license number that is printed on their food items must be received by all traders, suppliers and restaurants involved in the food industry.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY FOR FOOD SUPPLIERS TO REGISTER WITH FSSAI?
All food business operators engaged in the manufacture, refining, selling and distribution of food products and storage must obtain an FSSAI registration or license. The FSSAI License differs from the FSSAI Registration in that the requisite registration or license should be obtained by the FBO depending on the nature and size of the company.
It is a numerical 14-digit registration or a license number that is printed on all packages of food. This registration process is intended to improve the FBO’s responsibility for ensuring the quality of food items.
PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING THE LICENCE
1. By submitting Form A (application) to the Food and Safety Department, FSSAI registration is initiated.
2. This request will be approved or denied by the Department within 7 days of the date of the application and the applicant must be told of the facts in writing.
3. If the application is approved, a registration certificate with the registration number and the applicant’s photo will be released by the agency.
4. During business hours, the FBO should prominently display the registration certificate at the business site.
If, the proper guidelines and rules were not followed by the food suppliers, it may lead to suspension of their food license.
CONDITIONS FOR CANCELLATION
- Outbreaks of food poisoning linked with transmitting diseases
- Non-compliant premises of the company of the food operator
- Severe food complaints in which the protection of the customer is compromised
- Severe breach of FSSAI enforcement laws
- Violation where there is a history of non-compliance with standards for food safety
- Non-Compliances without fair justification with an upgrade or other legal notice
- Interrupting an Officer
PROCESS OF SUSPENSION
- The suspension may refer to all or any of the activities for which, under the Food Safety and Standards Act, a registration or license has been issued. The Jurisdiction, however, must be obliged to
- Offer Food Business Operators a chance to be heard
- Provide a quick declaration of the reasons for the suspension
- Understand that, during the improvement duration referred to in any Improvement Notice served under Section 32 of the Act, the FBO has not complied with the conditions
- Provide a copy of such a statement to the Food Business Operator concerned whose registration or license is suspended
The Registering or Licensing Authority, whichever is the case, may, after suspension, direct an inspection of the premises(s) of the Food Business Operator within a fair period not less than 14 days from the date of the suspension order.
The license/registration of the Food Business Operator may be cancelled by the Registration or Licensing Authority after giving the Food Business Operator the opportunity to show cause as provided for in Section 32(3) of the Act, upon review of the inspection report, provided that the Authority is still of the opinion that the Food Business Operator is responsible for the inspection report, as follows:
- The flaws or omissions have not been corrected yet.
- Comply with the terms of the notice of enhancement triggering the suspension
In addition to those reasons, for reasons which have to be reported in writing, the Registration or Licensing Authority can immediately suspend or cancel any registration or license in the interest of public health.
If a license or registration is revoked or withdrawn, the Food Business Operator shall not be entitled to any reimbursement or reimbursement of any fee(s) charged for the registration certificate or license or for the renewal of the registration certificate or license.
A new registration or license application can be made by the Food Business Operator to the authority concerned:
- After 3 months from the cancelation date pursuant to Regulation 2.1.8. (3)
- If all points made in the notice of enhancement were complied with.
It is therefore necessary for a company holding an FSSAI license to ensure that all the license rules and policies have been carefully read and complied with by each of them.