FSSAI Packaging and Labelling Regulations
Once you’ve obtained a food license, you may start business operations. When it comes to food items, complying with packaging and labelling requirements is essential for the consumer’s benefit. Let’s take a look at FSSAI’s regulations.
What is packaging and labelling?
Food Packaging is the art and science of encasing food products to safeguard them during distribution, sale, and storage. It is also the process of designing and evaluating packages. Product packaging design not only lends aesthetic appeal but helps your products stand out from those of others.
A label displays information regarding the product, typically printed on the packaging. A label not only describes the product and its uses but also provides instructions and crucial precautionary measures (if any) that need to be taken care of. It essentially informs consumers of the properties of a product.
Laws or Regulations Applicable
Since the FSSAI is the authority on all food-related things in India, FSSAI registration and observance of FSSAI rules is a must. There are a number of other laws and regulations that food businesses must follow for packaging and labelling –
Essential Commodities Act of 1955
Meat Food Products Order of 1955
Edible Oil Packaging Order of 1998
Agricultural Produce Act of 1937
Export Act of 1963
Bureau of Indian Standards of 1986
Standards of Weight Measures Act of 1976
Standards of Weights and Measures rules of 1977
Consequences of Violation
If food product packaging and labelling are not in compliance with the above laws, penalties shall follow depending on the nature of the offence. If a person violates the rules under Section 39 i.e. if they pack, sell or store food products that do not comply with the Packaged Commodities Rules, a fine of up to Rs. 5000 may be imposed. Additionally, if the person persists in the above offence without showing any signs of repentance, they can even be put behind bars for a period of 5 years.
Essential information for Display
According to the FSSAI Packaging and Labelling Regulations (2011), there are certain labelling requirements which need to be met before distribution can be carried out. The following information is in the consumer’s interest and ensures their safety -
The complete name of the food item to be written, in clear font and format, on the packaged product
Complete list of key ingredients used to produce the final product
Net quantity or weight of the product
Code No. or Batch No. which helps in recognizing the product during the distribution process
Date of manufacture and the date of expiry of the product
Nutritional information (amount of calories, proteins, trans fats, sugar, other dietary nutrients) per 100 g of the product
Vegetarian or Non-vegetarian mark where a green dot stands for vegetarian and red dot stands for non-vegetarian products
Names of all food additives (if any)
The country in which the product was manufactured, in case of imported food items
Detailed instructions on how to use the product and the necessary precautions and contraindications (if any)
Name of the manufacturer with the full address
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