In the 60s and 70s, the Citizens of United States of America suddenly started feeling that they spend too much time in eating their meals and have less time for productive activities like working. To cater to this new demand, fast food outlets sprung up all over America to serve hot meals to people who cannot or do not wish to spend time in a cozy restaurant eating their food. The same has happened in India. Indian economy as the GDP has been growing at approx. 7% annually which has increased the disposable income in the hands of consumers but has sucked up all the leisure time from their lives.The roadside dhabas and canteens have become a major part of the life of a majority of people who have to rely on them for their daily meals. If an individual is traveling or working for long hours in his office, he is left with no option but to buy food from these food stalls. Indian highways are dotted with such dhabas and eating joints where the food is cheaper than the hotels and they serve food to the truck drivers, passengers traveling on the highways and people from the nearby areas. But one thing that is always on the mind of a customer is the quality of food that is served to them.
As per the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011, it has become mandatory for everyone involved in the food business to secure a permit or license from FSSAI. Any individual who is running a dhaba or a tea stall, a vegetable and fruit sales shop, is required to apply for an FSSAI for business license. Even a milk vendor, a grocery shop owner, a marriage party caterer, canteen owner, hotels, restaurants, and food processors have to acquire an FSSAI license. The transporters and the vehicles which are engaged in transporting food products to the different parts of the country also need to acquire FSSAI License. FSSAI comes under the purview of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and its aim is to reduce the challenges associated with good quality food being served to the customers and to ensure the health and safety of Citizens of India.
FSSAI regulates the standards and guidelines for food articles. It also has to come up with a proper system that is required to enforce these standards. The canteens and dhabas which are licensed by FSSAI would have to serve a good quality of food than the ones which are not registered with it.
FSSAI provides accreditation and notifies the labs being accredited for testing of food samples.
The agency also certifies the accreditation bodies which then certify the systems and processes used for food safety management for different food businesses.
It offers technical support and advice to the state and central governments in policy matters which are expected to have an impact on the food business in India.
FSSAI collects data about food contaminants, biological risks and residues of food contaminants in food and incidences of food poisoning to identify the emerging risks to introduce a rapid alert system.
It is also mandated to create a National Information Network that would help in providing clear, quick, objective and reliable information about all the issues regarding food safety and which have an impact on public health and safety.
FSSAI also provides training to those people who are engaged in the food business to ensure food safety for human consumption.
It contributes to the development of food, phytosanitary and sanitary standards at a global level.
It also undertakes marketing and awareness campaigns to promote general awareness about the food safety among general masses.
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