FSSAI notifies food recovery and distribution of surplus food regulations, 2019

FSSAI prohibits distribution of unsafe food

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Food safety
FSSAI's food recovery and distribution of surplus food regulations, 2019

To encourage individuals and organizations to donate food for those in need and to provide a legitimate backup to the food donation drive in India, FSSAI has come up with the Food Safety and Standards (Recovery and Distribution of Surplus Food) Regulations, 2019. These regulations came into force on the date of their publication (26 July 2019) in the official Gazette and the food business operator shall comply with all the provisions of these regulations by 1 July 2020.

While addressing the need for these regulations, FSSAI stated, ‘About one-third of food produced around the world is spoiled or wasted before consumption and a billion people go hungry daily. India also suffers significant food loss and food waste, while 196 million people remain undernourished. In recent years, there has been growing concern about hunger, resource conservation, and the environmental and economic costs associated with food waste. This, in turn, has accelerated public and private efforts to make better use of available food supplies by recovering safe and nutritious food that would otherwise be wasted.’

FSSAI also stated that food is usually wasted on the shelves and in the warehouses of food businesses due to several reasons, such as excess production, introduction of new products, labelling errors, and short shelf life. These foods could be salvaged by withdrawing timely from the distribution network, aggregating them and then redirecting them to the people in need, according to FSSAI.

The purpose behind these regulations is to establish a uniform national regulation to protect organizations and individuals when they donate food in good faith and to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. Get inspired by the story of Jimmy John Owner and how he built everything.

The notified regulations were put under two schedules. Schedule 1 includes handling of surplus food by the food business operator and handling and distribution of surplus food by the surplus food distribution organization.

The regulations also state, ‘The surplus food shall be distributed or served to the needy before the expiry of surplus food or until the food is fit for human consumption, as the case may be. Also, if the food is not fit for human consumption, it shall be put in a container marked as “Food for Disposal.”’

In addition to this, the regulations also prescribe that all employees or volunteers that work with distribution organizations and come in direct contact with food to undergo training in health and personal hygiene.

Schedule 2 of the regulations includes the record of surplus food that needs to be maintained, such as name and address of the food donor organization, surplus food distribution; donation date; name of the food product (item); batch number of food product (item); date of manufacturing; best before date or expiry date; quantity donated by food donor; temperature of food; quantity distributed by surplus food distribution organizations; area where food is distributed; and date of distribution.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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Technical Editor - Mandeep Kaur is working with IPP Group and holding editorial responsibilities for the IndiFoodBev and PSA Healthcare platforms. Earlier she handled editorial responsibilities of food, beverage, and agriculture publications at another publisher. A gold-medalist in M Tech (Food Technology), she has hands-on experience in operating different types of instruments related to physico-chemical testing of grains and flour. She has worked at Evalueserve in the Intellectual Property (IP) division for more than three years handling projects in the life sciences domain.

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