FSSAI always says that food safety is a shared responsibility- Pritee Chaudhary, IRS, Regional director, FSSAI West Region, Mumbai

Chaudhary talks about the role of FSSAI in ensuring food safety, the impact of the pandemic on the food industry,her experience at Annapoorna-ANUFOOD India and much more
Pritee Chaudhary, IRS, Regional director, FSSAI West Region, Mumbai
Pritee Chaudhary, IRS, Regional director, FSSAI West Region, Mumbai

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is a statutory body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. They are responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety. In 2021, intending to benefit industries involved in manufacturing, handling, packaging, and selling of food items, FSSAI decided to grant perpetual licenses to restaurants and food manufacturers on the condition that they file their returns every year.

Standards framed by FSSAI are prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011. The development of standards is a dynamic process based on the latest developments in food science, food consumption patterns, new food products, and additives, changes in the processing technology leading to changed specifications, advancements in food analytical methods, and identification of new risks or other regulatory options.

F&B trends and disruptions

Talking about the F&B industry in consideration of the recent disruptions and trends,Pritee Chaudhary, IRS, Regional director, FSSAI West Region, Mumbai, stated, “Concerning COVID we can see one thing that many of the industries were going down but the food was one of the sectors that never saw the sunset. It's a sunrise industry! There’s only one difference post-COVID that we were doing everything in online mode and the physical interaction was limited as everyone was going with the online services but the experiences of the physical world cannot be replaced by online mode and your taste buds are complemented by the ambiance. Post-COVID the churning that we are seeing is actually supporting the world that was before the pandemic and it is gaining the forum again”.

She continued by saying, “There are technology innovations which can save electricity or water requirements and the overall consumption for the production of the unit article. So overall, if you go for unit production, it will definitely reduce the cost. In addition to that, you can see product innovation as well. So nowadays, people don't just look for traditional food, they also need food that is nutritional, wholesome, and suited to individual requirements. Therefore, it is providing that opportunity to the MSME to produce in the same line."

Role of FSSAI

She informed, “We in FSSAI always say that food safety is a shared responsibility in which all our stakeholders together also put a lot of efforts to make the food wholesome, safe and secure and its standard food. What we do is an iceberg tip enforcement activity, but the wholesome efforts are growing for the awareness, creating awareness, sensitizing the people, what they should seek or look for and what information they should demand to become an informed consumer. In industry, we go ahead by enhanced compliance regimen and looking for more compliance compared to the global standard, one such example you can see is that now we are looking for allergens declarations in the food, and have also asked the hoteliers to mention the calorific value of foods on their menu products so that the people are mindful about what they are consuming.”

At Annapoorna- ANUFOOD India

Talking about ANUFOOD and her experience in it, Chaudhary remarked “Intending to reach the food business operators for the licensing and the other related regulatory requirements we participated in this event but after visiting this place, I can say that the two years that we have lost in the COVID have been compensated. This event is magnanimous, it’s a brand and the participants are very enthusiastic. The people are churning out so many new things; new innovations and initiatives are being taken by the youth and various professional bodies as well.”

Talking about the event Chaudhary said, “It is a two-way process where the participants who are the displayers are benefiting because they have an opportunity to enhance their consumer base and at the same time people attending the event are receiving new ideas from various participants on different ingredients, different products that they can use for their own business and boosting their capital."

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