Rules and acts are formulated to ensure the safety, security and proper law and order in the society. In line with this principle, the Government of India came up with the Food Safety Standards Act, 2011. The objective behind this act was to consolidate a variety of laws pertaining to the food sector and bringing them under one umbrella. FSSAI or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India was set up to design scientifically derived standards for food articles to ensure its safety for human consumption. The Agency also supervises and regulates the storage, manufacture, sale, distribution and import of food related products, to make sure that consumers avail wholesome and safe food. The FSSAI Act, as a result, works to regulate and manage the food industry and as part of their job, levies a various kind of penalties on business owners for contravening these regulations.
In order to regulate the food products and their safety for human consumption, the FSSAI Act levies certain penalties on business enterprises in case of offenses Whether it is a private limited company or a public limited company, the penalties can be levied on both.
If a company commits any offense that comes under the purview of this Act, all those persons in charge of the company who were present when the offense was being committed and was responsible to the company for its business operations and conduct and the company itself will be considered to be guilty of the offense. They will be penalized and punished accordingly.
If a company has a lot of branches or units in different branches of the establishment, the person in charge or the Head of the department or branch of the enterprise as nominated by the company shall be deemed responsible for the safety of food and will be liable for any contravention of such a branch, establishment or a unit.
If a food business owner or operator who is supposed to acquire a FSSAI license but operates, manages, manufactures, sells, distributes, stores or imports food articles without acquiring the same shall be punishable as per the provisions of the Act. The person or the company found guilty of any contravention can be punished with an imprisonment extending up to six months and/or a fine which may be up to Rs. 5 Lakh.
If a person or a company is found selling the sub-standard quality of food and flouting the compliance requirements, the same shall be penalized with the fine of up to Rs.5 Lakh. The people or the companies exempted under sub-section (2) of section 31 of this Act for non-compliance shall be liable to a penalty of up to Rs.25,000.
If a person or a company manufacturers or engages in storage, selling, distributing or importing food articles that have been misbranded shall be penalized with a fine of up to Rs.3 Lakh. He will have to either destroy such food articles or take corrective action.
If a person or a company manufactures or stores, sells, distributes or imports food articles for human consumption which are found containing superfluous or extraneous matter then the same shall be deemed liable to a penalty that can be up to Rs. 1 Lakh.
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