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FSSAI directs FBOs holding Central licences to undergo frequent audits
Saturday, 24 August, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The apex regulator of the country, FSSAI, has asked for mandatory food safety auditing of FBOs (food business operators) falling under the Central licences category.

It has identified six high risk categories of food businesses as per the Food Licencing and Registration System (FLRS) that will be subject to mandatory food safety auditing.

FSSAI has issued an order in this regard, stating that as per the Food Safety Standards Food Safety Auditing Regulations, 2018, the food authority is directing that food businesses, including dairy products and analogues, excluding products of food category 2.0; meat and meat products including poultry; fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms; eggs and egg products; foodstuffs intended for particular nutritional uses (food for infant nutrition, etc.), and prepared food (by caterers etc.), shall be subject to mandatory food safety auditing.

Besides, the order stated that the food businesses identified by FSSAI shall get its business audited by a recognised audit agency at the intervals specified by the food authority. Further the list of recognised audit agencies has been provided to the FBOs and is available on the website of FSSAI.

According to Ashwin Bhadri, chief executive officer, Equinox Labs, “This shall result in periodical surveillance of the food processing activities of FBOs, and will provide a clearer picture of the strengths and drawbacks.”

“Auditing helps in avoiding food mishaps that are fatal and can lower the risks. Moreover, it will also reduce the burden of regulatory inspection and encourage a culture of self-compliance among the FBOs,” he added.

“The six categories introduced by FSSAI are high-risk foods that are used on a daily basis by consumers. These foods are ought to be audited for safety concerns. This move shall affect food manufacturing sector by emphasising on food safety audits. The apex body has also provided list of recognised audit agencies in Annex A in order to facilitate auditing procedure,” stated Bhadri.
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