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FSSAI Penalty

FSSAI Penalty Overview

FSSAI Penalties

For a food business, accountability does not end at receiving FSSAI registration or FSSAI license. The FSSAI has laid out a list of compliances that it expects every business to mandatorily follow. Ineffective compliance or non-compliance may lead to loss of FSSAI license/registration, penalties, and even jail time for business owners and officers.

Here is a comprehensive list of activities which may invite penalties on a food business under the FSSAI Act:

Selling food which is not of the nature, quality or substance demanded by the customer

A penalty of not more than Rs. 5 lakhs will be levied on him. If the business is covered under Subsection 2 of the Act, the penalty amount will not exceed Rs. 25,000.

Selling substandard food

If a person or someone on his behalf manufactures, stores, distributes or imports food for sale which is considered substandard and therefore unfit for human consumption, a penalty of not more than Rs. 5 lacs will be levied on him.

Selling misbranded food

If a person or someone on his behalf manufactures, stores, distributes, or imports food for sale which is considered misbranded, a penalty of not more than Rs. 3 lakhs will be levied on him. Also, the Adjudicating Officer will order the immediate destruction of all such food supplies.

Food containing inappropriate matter

If a food item contains substances which make it unfit for human consumption, it is said to contain inappropriate matter. If a person or someone on his behalf manufactures, stores, distributes, or imports food for sale which is considered inappropriate, a penalty of not more than Rs. 1 lakh will be levied on him.

Running a food business without FSSAI license or FSSAI registration

Here, the food business operator can be jailed for up to six months and a penalty of not more than Rs. 5 lakhs will be levied on him.

Manufacturing or processing of food in unsanitary and unhygienic surroundings

A food business operator and anyone working on his behalf will be slapped with a fine of not more than Rs. 1 lakh in such cases.

Possessing an adulterant

A food business operator and anyone working on his behalf who manufactures, stores or distributes food adulterants will be slapped with a fine of not more than Rs. 2 lakhs. This, in case, the adulterant is not harmful to health. However, if the adulterant is injurious to health, the penalty can extend up to Rs. 10 lakhs.

Contraventions of FSSAI Act

A food business operator and anyone working on his behalf will be slapped with a fine of not more than Rs. 2 lakhs in such cases.

Unsafe food

A food business operator and anyone working on his behalf who manufactures, stores or distributes unsafe food will be slapped with a fine of not more than Rs. 1 lakh, in case the adulterant does not cause injuries along with a jail term of up to six months. However, if the unsafe food results in non-grievous injury, the penalty can extend up to Rs. 3 lakhs and include a jail term of up to one year. But if the unsafe food results in grievous injury, the penalty can extend up to Rs. 5 lakhs and include a jail term of up to six years. In the case the unsafe food item causes death on consumption, the penalty can extend up to Rs. 10 lakhs and include a jail term of up to seven years.

Some other repercussions in serious cases can be:

  • Cancellation of FSSAI license or FSSAI registration

  • Recalling the food from the distributors, wholesalers and retailers

  • Seizing and sealing of business premises


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