After Nestlé’s Maggi Noodles controversy, FSSAI has increased its vigil on food products to circumvent the widespread of adulterated food and ensuring public health. The case brought a new light to the matter of food adulteration, sensitizing the public with food adulteration. Food manufacturers need to be cautious at every stage regarding manufacturing, advertising, labeling, and packaging. FSSAI Guidelines are provided.

The ultimate aim of FSSAI is maintaining food standards and it makes the duty of manufacturers to comply with the rules and regulations. For the sake of consumers, labeling should be done with the maximum description about the contents of the product e.g. quantity, price, nutritional value, ingredients etc. Advertising should conform to the rules without misleading consumers. If a product advertising results in misleading then that product will be termed as ‘misbranding’. With time, consumers are becoming more conscious so it becomes more necessary to be careful.

FSSAI License has ordered its officials to inspect and conduct inquiries of various food products from time to time and survey food quality. It has facilitated a channel of communication connecting all panchayats and municipalities so that food officials can receive feedbacks. Accountability, transferability, and creditability ensure high standards of food security. The food authority can seize any product if it does not comply with food standards. It can destroy any product after giving a written notice. In times of dubious, it may detain imported food products.

Furthermore, food authority can direct food manufacturers to take corrective actions to rectify the mistake. Cancellation/suspension of the food license is possible if the product highly violates the prescribed rules.  However, the manufacturer shall be given an opportunity to be heard. Packaged labeling must be prepared with utmost care keeping in view consumer’s health.

In this article, we will discuss the guidelines prescribed by FSSAI regarding packaging and labeling of the food keeping in view consumer’s health.

Guidelines for Packaging and Labeling by FSSAI –

1) Name of the food –

The name of the food/product is the first thing that should be mentioned, according to FSSAI Guidelines. The name of the product should be written in a clear format in the front so that the customer can easily recognize what the product is.

2) List of Ingredients –

List means the contents which were used for making the final product. It is necessary for the manufacturer to mention the ingredients he used without cheating the end consumer. If the manufacturer does so, he can land in trouble if he cheats the consumer.

3) Nutritional Information –

Nutritional information means how much calories, vitamins, fats, saturated fat, cholesterol etc. the product contains. This information should be mentioned on all product labels.

4) Declaration regarding Veg or Non-Veg –

In our country, some people do not consume non-veg products as they think it is against their religion. So, according to FSSAI guidelines, it is mandatory for the manufacturer to put the label mentioning whether the food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Green Label signifies that the product is vegetarian and the Red Label signifies that the product is non-vegetarian.

5) Declaration regarding Food Additives –

Food additives are substances which are added to food in order to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance. Hence, it is very necessary to give a declaration regarding the additives added on the label or the package.

6) Name and Address of the Manufacturer –

The name of the manufacturer and the place of the manufacturing is usually mentioned. The manufacturer has to give complete address of his factory which includes street address, city, state, and zip code. Without mentioning any of these, products can be considered fake in the market.

7) Net Quantity –

Net Quantity is also an important factor in FSSAI Guidelines on Labelling of Food Products. It refers to the weight of the product. The weight of the product and the food packaging weight are usually combined together and then mentioned in the Net Quantity.

8) Code No./Batch No./Lot No. –

The batch number or code number or lot number is a mark which helps to recognize through which the food can be found in the manufacture and even recognized in the distribution. Therefore, the Code No./Lot No./Batch No should be definitely mentioned by the manufacturer according to FSSAI Guidelines on Labelling of Food Products.

9) Date of Manufacture and Best Before & Use by Dates –

The date of manufacture is when the product has been manufactured and Best Before & Use By Date means by what date and month should the product be consumed. If the product is consumed after the expiry date, it usually can harm the health of the human. The consumer also should check Date of Manufacture and Best Before & Use By Date before purchasing the product.

10) Instructions for Use –

According to FSSAI Guidelines on Labelling of Food Products, the Instructions for Use should be mandatorily mentioned. As the name suggests, it usually instructing or guiding the consumer on how to utilize the product.