Food Packaging Laws And Regulations In India
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FSSAI provides for separate packaging and labeling regulations known as Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011 (hereinafter referred to as the FSSAI Packaging and Labeling Regulations") which lay down the statutory and regulatory requirements for packaging and labeling of products. A complete reading of the Packaging and Labeling Regulations, show that there are different kinds of products: Pre-packaged, Proprietary and other definite products as mentioned in the regulations.
Regulation 2.12 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 defines "proprietary food" as food that has not been standardized under packaging and labeling regulations. Regulation 1 (8) of the Packaging and Labeling Regulations defines "prepackaged" or "pre-packed food", as food, which is packed in a package of any nature, in such a manner that the contents cannot be altered without tampering it and which is ready for sale to the consumer.
The Packaging and Labeling Regulations provide the general requirements for labeling of food products prescribed under the FSSAI, some of the packaging and labeling rules are as follows:
- Contents on the label shall be clear, prominent, indelible and readily readable by the consumer under normal conditions of purchase and use;
- Label in pre-packaged foods products shall be completed in such a way that they will not become separated from the container;
- Pre-packaged food shall not be described or presented on any label or in any manner that is wrong, misleading or deceptive or is likely to make an inaccurate impression regarding its character in any respect;
- Where the container is roofed by a wrapper, the wrapper shall carry the necessary information or the label on the container shall be readily readable through the outer wrapper and not obscured by it.
- The particulars of declaration required under these Regulations to be mentioned on the label shall be in English or Hindi in Devnagri script: Provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the use of any other language in addition to the language required under this regulation and regulations.
In addition to these general rules and regulations specified above, every package of food shall also carry the following information on the label:
- Name of The Food;
- List of Ingredients;
- Date of Manufacturing or Packing;
- Best Before and Use by Date;
- Nutritional Information;
- Name and Complete Address of The Manufacturer;
- Net Quantity;
- Lot/Code/Batch Identification;
- Declaration Regarding Veg. And Non-Veg;
- Declaration Regarding Food Additives;
- Country of Origin for Imported Food; And
- Instructions for Use.
Since a large variety of food products are being imported into India, under the Packaging and Labeling Regulations 2011, it becomes compulsory to mention the country of origin of the food on the label of food imported into India, and when a food product undergoes processing in a second country which changes its nature, the country in which the processing is performed shall be considered as the country of origin for the purposes of labeling.
Therefore, the above are the statutory and regulatory requirements that are to be obeyed with regard to labeling of products that are sold in the Indian market as "pre-packaged goods".