All Food Business Operators (FBOs) have to be compliant to the rules, regulations and other provisions, as laid down and updated from time to time, by the FSSAI. These are statutory necessities. FSSAI conducts checks, investigations, and tests of the product or the process, at random. During the inspection, a Food Safety Official or an agency would inspect the premises, safety, quality of the food product or process, as well as maintenance of hygiene. He is authorized by the FSSAI to examine the working conditions along with the techniques of food handling by the operators, associates, and staff.
Consequently, he determines a level of compliance for the business, based upon the regulations set by the Food Authority, using a checklist. The Official marks a level for the FBO, going by the checklist, as:
Additionally, the Food Official or the inspecting agency might issue an Improvement Notice, explaining the operations, steps or stages that need to be refined. And it mentions a time for these alterations to be completed by. If the FBO fails to amend these, within the stipulated time, a Show Cause Notice is sent.
This Show Cause Notice provides a date of hearing by which the FBO has to prove why it could not undertake the amendments or alterations. The proof must be supported by documentary evidence. If the evidence is rejected, or the FBO fails to respond to the Improvement Notice, by the set date of hearing, its FSSAI certificate will get canceled.
If the aggrieved FBO feels that the improvement notice is biased or untrue, it can choose to file an Appeal with the State Commissioner for Food Safety.
The decision by the State Commissioner is also not final. It can be challenged by appealing to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal or the high court.