Structure and Functions of Food Authority

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Location FSSAI is located in 5 regions
1. Northern Region – With head office at New Delhi

2. Eastern Region

3. North Eastern Region

4. Western region

5. Southern Region

– The FSSAI consists of a chairperson & 22 members.
-The FSSAI appoints food safety authorities on the state level.
-The FSSAI functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
– The main aim of FSSAI is to:
Lay down science-based standards for articles of food
To regulate manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of food

*To facilitate food safety

Departments
1. Import Division

2. International Co-operation

3. Regulatory Compliance Division (RCD)

4. Food Safety Management System (FSMS) Division

5. Risk Assessment and R&D division (RARD)

6. Information Education Communication (IEC) Division

7. Regulation and Codex Division

8. Quality Assurance/ lab Division

9. HR Division

10. Standards Division

Research and quality assurance

Research
FSSAI has set certain guidelines for food safety research. The Research and Development division is responsible for research with the following objectives:

1. Generate new knowledge that would help in continuously updating and upgrading food safety standards which are compatible with international organizations

2. Carry out evidence based studies for improving or building policies.

Quality Assurance

FSSAI has been mandated to perform various functions related to quality and standards of food. These functions in addition to others include “Laying down procedure and guidelines for notification of the accredited laboratories as per ISO17025. The FSSAI notified laboratories that are classified as:

1. FSSAI notified NABL accredited labs- 112

2. State Labs-72

3. Referral Labs-14

Standards
Standards framed by FSSAI are prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011.

The FSSAI has prescribed standards for following food products:
• Dairy products and analogues

• Fats, oils and fat emulsions

• Fruits and vegetable products

• Cereal and cereal products

• Meat and meat products

• Fish and fish products

• Sweets & confectionery

• Sweetening agents including honey

• Salt, spices, condiments and related products

• Beverages, (other than dairy and fruits & vegetables based)

• Other food product and ingredients

• Proprietary food

• Irradiation of food

The development of standards is a dynamic process based on the latest developments in food science, food consumption pattern, new food products and additives, changes in the processing technology leading to changed specifications, advancements in food analytical methods, and identification of new risks or other regulatory options.
Formulation of standards of any article of food under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, involves several stages. After consideration by the Food Authority, the draft standard is published (Draft notified), for inviting stakeholder comments. Since India is a signatory to the WTO-SPS Committee, Draft Standard is also notified in WTO. Thereafter, taking into account the comments received from the stakeholders, the Standard is finalized and notified in Gazette of India, and implemented.

Duties and functions of Food Authority.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Food Authority to regulate and monitor the manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food.

(2) The Food Authority may by regulations specify –

(a) the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying an appropriate system for enforcing various standards notified under this Act;

(b) the limits for use of food additives, crop contaminants, pesticide residues, residues of veterinary drugs, heavy metals, processing aids, myco-toxins, antibiotics and pharmacological active substances and irradiation of food;

(c) the mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management systems for food businesses;

(d) the procedure and the enforcement of quality control in relation to any article of food imported into India;

(e) the procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories;

(f) the method of sampling, analysis and exchange of information among enforcement authorities;

(g) conduct survey of enforcement and administration of this Act in the country;

(h) food labelling standards including claims on health, nutrition, special dietary uses and food category systems for foods; and

(i) the manner in which and the procedure subject to which risk analysis, risk assessment, risk communication and risk management shall be undertaken.

(3) The Food Authority shall also –

(a) provide scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government and the State Governments in matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing on food safety and nutrition;

(b) search, collect, collate, analyse and summarise relevant scientific and technical data particularly relating to –

(i) food consumption and the exposure of individuals to risks related to the consumption of food;

(ii) incidence and prevalence of biological risk;

(iii) contaminants in food;

(iv) residues of various contaminants;

(v) identification of emerging risks; and

(vi) introduction of rapid alert system;

(c) promote, co-ordinate and issue guidelines for the development of risk assessment methodologies and monitor and conduct and forward messages on the health and nutritional risks of food to the Central Government, State Governments and Commissioners of Food Safety;

(d) provide scientific and technical advice and assistance to the Central Government and the State Governments in implementation of crisis management procedures with regard to food safety and to draw up a general plan for crisis management and work in close co-operation with the crisis unit set up by the Central Government in this regard;

(e) establish a system of network of organisations with the aim to facilitate a scientific co-operation framework by the co-ordination of activities, the exchange of information, the development and implementation of joint projects, the exchange of expertise and best practices in the fields within the Food Authority’s responsibility;

(f) provide scientific and technical assistance to the Central Government and the State Governments for improving co-operation with international organisations;

(g) take all such steps to ensure that the public, consumers, interested parties and all levels of panchayats receive rapid, reliable, objective and comprehensive information through appropriate methods and means;

(h) provide, whether within or outside their area, training programmes in food safety and standards for persons who are or intend to become involved in food businesses, whether as food business operators or employees or otherwise;

(i) undertake any other task assigned to it by the Central Government to carry out the objects of this Act;

(j) contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards;

(Agrilearner)

(k) contribute, where relevant and appropriate to the development of agreement on recognition of the equivalence of specific food related measures;

(l) promote co-ordination of work on food standards undertaken by international governmental and nongovernmental organisations;

(m) promote consistency between international technical standards and domestic food standards while ensuring that the level of protection adopted in the country is not reduced; and

(n) promote general awareness as to food safety and food standards.

(4) The Food Authority shall make it public without undue delay –

(a) the opinions of the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panel immediately after adoption;

(b) the annual declarations of interest made by members of the Food Authority, the Chief Executive Officer, members of the Advisory Committee and members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panel, as well as the declarations of interest if any, made in relation to items on the agendas of meetings;

(c) the results of its scientific studies; and

(d) the annual report of its activities;

(5) The Food Authority may from time to time give such directions, on matters relating to food safety and standards, to the Commissioner of Food Safety, who shall be bound by such directions while exercising his powers under this Act;

(6) The Food Authority shall not disclose or cause to be disclosed to third parties confidential information that it receives for which confidential treatment has been requested and has been acceded, except for information which must be made public if circumstances so require, in order to protect public health.
(Agrilearner)
Name of food packaging material – Approximate quantity/surface area to be supplied

1. Food packaging material when sample is – 8 x 1000 x 9 sq.cm. surface area.” taken from manufacturer.

2. When sample is taken from small consumer – Complete packaging material used for one container.


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