The food industry has gone through a dynamic change with the introduction of the food safety & standards Act, 2006 to improve the hygiene and quality of food. As per the act, no person is entitled to start or carry on any food business except under an FSSAI license or FSSAI registration. Therefore, any food manufacturing or processing or packaging or distributing entity is now required to obtain an FSSAI License or Registration.
The license is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Family Health & Welfare, Government of India. Application to commence a food business must be made to the FSSAI in the prescribed format. The approvals are based on the application and supporting documents.
- FSSAI Registration is mandatory for carrying out activities related to any stage of manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food.
- FSSAI License can be divided into two categories State level License and Central License. Hotel, Restaurant and medium-size food manufacturers are covered under State license. Large size food manufacturers come under Central Licensing.
- A separate FSSAI Registration or License required and issued for each location where food is handled. Therefore, an entity may have to obtain multiple FSSAI licenses if it operates multiple locations.
- A Petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or a temporary stallholder or small-scale or cottage or such other industries relating to food business or tiny food business operator are exempt from obtaining FSSAI Registration or License.
- Once an FSSAI License is issued, it is valid for one or two years. Before the end of its validity, the license can be renewed for a further term based on the requirements of the business.