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FSSAI launches ‘systematic and intensive’ plan for high risk foods
Thursday, 05 May, 2022, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
Superseding all the previous orders, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a direction for a comprehensive inspection plan based on risk associated with food businesses. The plan also has provisions for e-inspection through recorded video and live streaming of the premises.

According to the FSSAI, it will enable the authorities to carry out the mandatory inspections of the premises of the food business operators ensuring the safety of high risk food categories in a more ‘systematic and intensive manner’ and aimed at bringing about systematic improvements rather than in form of raids/searches and should be undertaken with prior notice to FBOs except in case of serious food safety issues.

Further, the inspection plan needs to be incorporated in the Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) for systematic allotment of inspection to designated officers/ food safety officers and it is mandatory to carry out inspection only using food safety inspection and sampling system –FoSCoRIS app.

The high risk categories include dairy products and analogues, meat and meat products including poultry, fish and fish products, eggs and egg products, foodstuffs intended for nutritional uses, prepared food, Indian sweets, nutrients and their preparation –fortified rice kernels only.

The types of inspection include pre-licence inspection for businesses like milk, meat, fish, fortified rice and slaughterhouses, pre-registration inspection for fortified rice kernels, routine inspection based on risk profile in each states, follow up inspections  to check compliance, inspection before renewal or modification of licence, inspection for investigation of a complaint, inspection in case of a food safety emergency and non-conformity report of a third-party audit.

Besides, there can be inspection of expired licences and other inspections prescribed by the food authority.

Also, “There is a provision of exemption from inspection based on the score of a third-party audit or hygiene rating scheme as applicable,” reads FSSAI statement.

Under the new plan, the Food Safety Commissioners can increase the number of inspections needed to be added for a particular financial year. However, this plan shall not preclude the registration or licensing authority from carrying out the inspection of any other food businesses in the situation of health risk or food safety emergencies.

And the order says that all the Central licensed manufacturers, processors under high risk categories as specified by the FSSAI should get their businesses audited by FSSAI recognised food safety auditing agencies every year.
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