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FSSAI Guidelines For Food Handlers

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For all Food Business Operators (FBO’s), it is mandatory to follow the over-all hygienic and sanitary guidelines strictly. It is the accountability of the Food Business Operator to ensure adherence to essential requirements. In present time, the regulatory authorities are actively taking actions to minimize food safety risks by articulating strict rules and regulations for continuouslyimproving food safety standard. Food Business Operators like hotels, cafes, cafeterias, restaurants must confirm that food is cooked and served as per the regulations. Apart from keeping the cleanliness in the premise and the use of quality ingredients, it is also mandatory to ensure the hygiene and sanitization of the food handlers.

FSSAI is thetopmost authority that regulates and checks the manufacturing, sales, storage, distribution and import of the food products. For any Businessrelated tofood, it’s important to obtain the registration or license to operate. There are major rules mentioned in the FSSAI Act 2006 regarding the food safety and personal hygiene.

Medical Fitness Test for food handlers

If any food handler or an employee is suffering from or is supposed to be a carrier of disease or illness, they must not be permitted to enter the handling area. The Food Business Operator essentiallybuild a system whereby any personnel affected by any illness or disorder not good for food hygiene, must report the illness/disorder to the management and necessarily go for a medical examination. Also, internal processes must be created for the medical examination of the food handlers at least once in a year to ensure all food handlers/employees are free from any contagious, infectious or communicable disease which might impact the hygiene of food.

Also, the Food Business Operator must educate, motivate, encourage and fundamentally supervise employees not to handle food when they are not feeling well or suffering for illness or got infected with any one of these diseases “ diarrhea, sore throat, jaundice, vomiting, fever, eye, nose or ear discharge, skin problems (cuts, boils, itching etc.)”.

Individual Cleanliness and Training

The food handlers must keep a high degree of their own cleanliness. The Food Business Operator must provide to all food handlers sufficient and appropriate clean clothing, gloves, head covering, face mask, and intact footwear. Also, the Food Business Operator ensure that the food handlers must wear a clean protective clothesand cover their head every minute while dealing with food products. Normal shoes must not be worn while preparing and handling any food item.

Premise must contain a proper hand washing facility along with a continuous supply of water, soapand paper towel/ tissue or roll/hand dryer or hand sanitizer. Hand washing is very important before dealing with food item in production premises. It must be by default activity for all food handlers to wash their hands before and after entering production premises, after using toilets, handling garbage, touching raw food of animal origin, touching animals, touching toxic substances like cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, disinfectantsetc.

Food handlers must avoid chewing tobacco and smoking, chewingany nut or gum, touching “mouth, tongue, nose, eyes or other body parts by hands”.

Food handlers mustavoid Spitting, coughing, sneezing, etc. in production, packaging and handling area. They must protector food from environmental exposure.

Food handlers must not use heavy cosmetics, jewelry and thread,on body and keep personal thingsalways away from the food.

Training

Food handlers of all the food business operators need to have the essential knowledge and skills that are significant to the manufacturing, food processing, storing, packing, and serving in order to ensure the food safety and food quality.

The management must promote and provide food safety training to their employees and food handlers by carrying out on-going in-house courses for them or arranging for them to participate in courses offered by various organizations. Additionally, periodic assessment must be made to find the effectiveness of the training as well as routine checks to make sure that the food hygiene and food safety procedures are carried out in an effective manner.

Any Food Business Operator must strictly follow the food safety and standard regulations. Food is perishable and is susceptible to contamination and to maintain the basic sanitary and hygienic conditions is imperative. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI Registration) is the apex food regulator in India.

The Food Business Operator who hold a FSSAI certificate or registration in dealing with manufacturing, processing, storing and distributing of the food need to conform to the regulations laid by FSSAI. It is imperative to obtain the license or registration or otherwise, the existing registration or license will be cancelled.

In obtaining the registration or license, there are multiple declarations and resolutions forms that the Food Business Operator needs to file with the application. These declarations and forms must be prepared ideally so as to obtain the license without any problem.

The government takes about 45 to 60 working days to review and approve the application. Today with the advent of the internet, any Food Business Operator can easily submit the application form online. However, if you want to accomplish the entire process without any hassle, then it is advisable to hire the service of a professional consultant who has acquaintance with the FSSAI rules and regulations related to the Food Business Operator license and registration. The consultants help in the entire process from the initial consultation related to the license to the preparation of the document, application drafting, product testing, approval, fulfilling safety and hygiene regulations, and submitting the application. They take care of every minute detail and offer comprehensive service at a reasonable price.

Do you wish to register for FSSAI license? Or  are you looking for food license advisory? Would you like to know about the FSSAI laws? Please feel free to contact us, India Leading online food business consultant firm.

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION

Get help from an experienced legal adviser. Schedule your consultation at a time that works for you and it's absolutely FREE.

Author
Vinay Singh
Vinay Thakur is Managing Partner in Corpseed. He focused on payments, digital transformation, and financial technology for over 15 years and holds strong expertise on fintech startups, banking innovation, and investors with a keen understanding of the trends and activities of startups, banks, and investors in the space.