Get Food License
The full form of FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is a regulatory body established and governed by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The Act empowers this legal authority to ensure the safety of food products delivered to the consumers.
Sometimes FSSAI is also called the Food Authority of India. It is a legal entity with headquarters in Delhi. The branch offices are located throughout India for ease of businesses in getting a Food License.
Its functions are specified by the Government of India and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Both these authorities also act as consultants for the FSSAI Food License. FSSAI is in charge of setting standards for food and its processes in India.
The government’s objective to incorporate FSSAI is to ensure that the food products that are being delivered to the consumers are wholesome and fit for human consumption. FSSAI is accountable for protecting and promoting public health. And the authorized body to penalize non-compliant businesses.
FSSAI has been incorporated to ensure the safety of food. The vision was to ensure that the food being consumed by the public is adulteration-free, consumable and healthy. That the food that the final consumer is buying is value for money and, in no way, harmful to the health.
To achieve this purpose, certain standards have been laid down by FSSAI. They cover all stages such as manufacture, storage, distribution, packaging, sale, export, and import of food items. These standards have been implemented after conducting meticulous research, trials, and testing. The procedures are backed by science and technology.
As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, any business entity, with operations associated with food. Working at any level or scale. Has to get itself registered and get an Food License. The Food Business Operator could be involved in one stage only or all steps of manufacturing, wholesaling, supplying, packing or re-packing, trading, labelling or re-labelling, importing or exporting, or even transporting has to go through the FSSAI registration process. Else it is liable to get penalized for non-compliance. Additionally, FSSAI is authorized to fine the business, shut the business down, prohibit it from operating further, or up to imprisonment of the involved persons or directors.
Whether your business needs an FSSAI License or an FSSAI Registration only, depends on a few factors. Annual turnover, installed capacity, area of operations, whether limited to one state, have branches, etc., are the key determinants.
The types of FSSAI are:
The eligibility criteria for which type of registration has been listed below. To make it convenient for the FBOs to choose and apply for the correct certificate.
FBOs that have an annual turnover anywhere between Rs. 0 to Rs. 12 lakh are required to apply for a Basic Food Registration.
These include all small scale operators, which are working from and within a single area, region, city or town have to be registered under FSSAI as Basic FBO. This kind of Basic certificate has to be applied to the State where the business is based. The provisions for eligibility to Basic Certificate are as follows:
The basic criteria for applying for a State Food License is that the annual turnover of your business is falling somewhere between Rs. 12 lakh up to a maximum of Rs. 20 crores. You need to apply for FSSAI State License to the state government where your business is based in.
The rules governing this license are:
The primary condition to become eligible for a Central FSSAI Registration is that the annual turnover is over Rs. 20 crores.
The Central Government is to be applied for this license.
Besides this essential rule, there are some other elements to be considered. Such as 100% export oriented units, importers, operators associated with the Central Government and related agencies.
The FBOs having more than one branch of restaurants or food joints need to apply for a Central Food License. FBOs operating in 2 or more states have to apply for one Central License for its Registered Head Office and separate license/registration for each branch as per the eligibility standards applicable to them.
Following Food Businesses need to apply for FSSAI central license by the regulatory authority:
Below is a list of documents to be submitted to the FSSAI offices to get an FSSAI License or Registration:
The documents mentioned below are compulsory to be submitted by all Food Business Operators (FBOs). Whether they are applying for Basic Registration, State License or Central License, these proofs are necessary for all:
You need below documents along with your application, other than the above-listed ones:
In addition to the above listed Common Documents, you need below:
All the Food Business Entities, on getting registered with the FSSAI, are given an exclusive 14-Digit registration number. It is required by law that they get this printed on every package of the food item. Along with the FSSAI Logo. Restaurants, Hotels, and Eateries must keep this FSSAI Certificate on display at a prominent place. During all business hours. It shows to the customers that this business, eatery, etc. have gone through numerous safety checks, required as per the Act. And assures them of the safety of food items they are buying. That it is free from contamination and other risks.
Besides, all the e-commerce operators involved in the business of aggregation or delivery of food must display the FSSAI Food License number of the restaurant or eatery they are delivering for, on their App or website. Chief examples among them are Swiggy, UberEats, and Zomato. Failing to advise your FSSAI Registration number to these Apps will lead to your restaurant business being de-listed from the App.
Additionally, these apps have been also directed by the FSSAI, to provide the restaurant with a rating based on the level of hygiene maintained by them.
As per the FSSAI Act Regulation, the display of FSSAI License/Registration Number at food premises is mandatory. Ordinarily, the FSSAI license number was kept hidden from the consumers. Hence, to improve the overall consumer perceptibility and to encourage food safety, FSSAI has introduced Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs) for various food businesses. Henceforth, in addition to the existing compulsory requirement of displaying FSSAI License/ Registration Number, it has also become mandatory for the FBOs to display these Food Safety Display Boards (FSDB) at FBO premises.
The guidelines concerning it are:
An FSSAI Registration or License is valid for anywhere from 1 year to 5 years, as per the application filed by the FBO. Thereafter, you need to get your certificate renewed. This FSSAI renewal application must be filed at least 30 days before its expiry.
Below is the process involved:
FSSAI officials will examine the details provided in the application form. They might also visit and carry a physical inspection of the premises and/or examine the machinery, equipment, or premises. They’ll verify the performance and efficacy of the Food Safety Management System (FSMS). And whether it is still relevant. They will probe whether the documents and details provided in the Application Form are authentic or not.
If the FSSAI officials are satisfied with their inquiries and investigations, that the provisions of the FSSAI are being met. Your FSSAI certificate will be renewed.
The duration of the validity of the renewal will, again, be between 1 to 5-years, as filled in the application form by the FBO.
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.
If an FBO is found Non-Compliant to the rules and regulations of the FSSAI, it will get penalized. The penalty structure is uniform for everyone and is followed strictly. Below is a brief list of FSSAI penalties for a non-compliant FBO:
The penalties listed above may differ, according to the circumstances.
In extreme cases, where there is a mortality loss due to consumption of that particular Food Article, the punishment on the concerned FBO may extend to Rs. 5 lakh or even imprisonment, depending upon the severity and aggregate of the harm caused.
If the directions are not followed, and the concerned area or steps not revised, within the given timeline, the FSSAI Registration may get suspended.
(c) Partial Compliance,
(d) Not Applicable/Not Observed (NA).
If not satisfied by the decision by the State Commissioner, you can further appeal to the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal or the High court.
The decision of this tribunal or court would be deemed as final.
There is a certain time frame attached to filing against the decisions. The Appeal against the notices needs to be filed within 15 days of the issue of the Notice.
To ensure that their product is safe and free from contamination, FBOs should implement a valid Food Safety Management System (FSMS) based on HACCP and suitable prerequisite arrangements. It will assist them in actively checking and controlling hazards throughout the food chain. At all stages in their business operations.
All employees, staff, and associates of your FBO must be clear about the objectives and the advantages of implementing the HACCP system. Incorporating an efficient Quality & Environment Management System may require some modifications or changes to be done in the business operations. And all the stakeholders must be prepared for it.
The employees must be well-explained of what is expected of them, to achieve HACCP Certification.
(a) Fruits & Vegetables,
(b) Meat & Meat Products,
(c) Fish & Fishery Products,
(d) Dairy Products,
(f) Spices & Condiments,
(g) Nuts & Nut Products,
(h) Bakery & Confectionary,
(i) Fast Food Operations,
(j) Hotels & Restaurants, etc.
If you are not located in Delhi and certain other states, you’ll have to submit a hard-copy of the application duly signed with a copy of the fees paid, after filing of the online application.
(1) M/s. Export Inspection Council of India, Delhi,
(2) M/s. Indian Register Quality Systems, Mumbai,
(3) M/s. INDOCERT, Kerala,
(4) M/s. TUV SUD South Asia, Mumbai,
(5) M/s. Det Norske Veritas, AS, Mumbai,
(6) M/s. One Cert Asia Agri Certification Pvt. Ltd., Jaipur,
(7) M/s. National Productivity Council, Delhi.