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Restaurants have to mention FSSAI licence number on bills from October – Mint

All restaurants and food business operators will have to mention FSSAI licence or registration number on cash receipts or purchase invoice from October 1, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) informed on Thursday. Noting that ‘any credible regulatory structure depends on robust customer grievance system’, the food safety regulator said, in case of any irregularity, a customer can easily file a complaint against the operator using FSSAI number.

Food safety regulator issued an order on Thursday that said, “.. every food business operator is required to obtain FSSAI licence or registration prior commencing food business. … The food business ecosystem is large and FSSAI number of any food business is not easily visible to consumers. Any credible regulatory structure depends on robust customer grievance system… However, if FSSAI number is not available to him, expecting him to complain with complete co-ordinates becomes an uphill task.”

“Since complaints remain unresolved due to lack of specific information, this move will help consumers who can lodge an online complaint against a particular food business using the FSSAI number,” it said.

No database can be created without a unique locator code, which in case of food safety is the FSSAI number, it added.

“Licensing and registration authorities are directed to widely publicise the policy and shall ensure its implementation mandatorily with effect from October 2, 2021,” the FSSAI order said.

Mentioning of FSSAI number shall also improve the overall awareness, the regulator said “if not mentioned, it will indicate non-compliance or non registration/licensing by the food business.”

FSSAI number is compulsory to be displayed on packaged food labels

Presently, FSSAI number is compulsory to be displayed on packaged food labels but the issue lies especially in case of establishments such as restaurants, mithai shops, caterers, even retail stores.

The regulator also said “it is amending the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses Regulations to mandate display of ‘food safety display boards’ at all times at prominent places in case of restaurants.”

However, there remains a deficit of mechanism for consumer to know the FSSAI number of the service/product provider, it noted.

It also mentioned that even in case of pre-packaged food where the manufacturer’s FSSAI number is printed on the pack, there exist a deficit of tract and trace mechanism whereby the path of the package from a manufacturer to consumer can be traced.

The invoice helps establishing this trail. With mentioning of the FSSAI number will help in improving traceability for food products, the regulator added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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