FSSAI notifies New Packaging Standards for Food Businesses
Very recently, the food safety watchdog FSSAI had announced that it will completely ban the recycled plastic & newspaper in the packaging of the food items, with a view to preventing health-related risks and environmental degradation.
In this context, the FBOs especially those having FSSAI registration will now be required to take responsibility of ensuring that the packaging stuff provided by the supplier is truly safe and of food-grade material. They will now be required to comply with the standards put forward in the regulations under the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018.
#1. What is the new packaging regulation prescribed by FSSAI?
India’s topmost food safety regulator has recently notified that a new set of packaging regulations would soon replace all the existing provisions in relation with the packaging requirements, as prescribed in the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
The regulations that will be introduced soon shall aim to emphasize the standards that will determine the different packaging materials, viz. plastics, glass, paper, metal, printing inks, and so on, across the entire packaging supply chain.
#2. When will FSSAI introduce the new regulations?
FSSAI had stated in December 2018 that it would issue all-new comprehensive standards very shortly. These will be all-inclusive and will prohibit the use of plastics as well as recycled materials for the purpose of packaging of food products.
#3. How will the new packaging standards ensure food safety?
The apex food regulator, FSSAI has said that the new standards would also align with the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) norms for packaging processes. The BIS norms are however voluntary as of now, but after the gazette notification by FSSAI, they will be mandatory for all types of Food Businesses having FSSAI registration.
#4. When will the new packaging standards come into force?
- As discussed above, the new packaging standards will surely give general as well as specific guidelines with regard to packaging stuff in food products.
- They will specify the overall migration limits (OML) and specific migration limits (SML) of all contaminants in packaging materials.
- They shall likewise be brought into effect from July 1, 2019.
#5. What are the alternative methods of food packaging?
The new regulations shall also suggest a broad list of packaging materials for various food product categories. Under these regulations, the packaging stuff in case of packing or storing the food products shall comply with the Indian standards provided.
- After these new regulations are in place, FBOs would have to take responsibility that the packaging supplier is providing them safe and food-grade packing material complying with the BIS standards provided in the regulations.
- The FSSAI is also keen on imparting mass awareness among stakeholders, consumers and food businesses prior to the implementation of the new packaging norms.
- Considering the carcinogenic (cancer) effect of used inks and dyes in printing, these regulations also debar the use of newspaper and other such materials for packing or wrapping.
Above all, these regulations will prevent the use of recycled plastics packaging material, including polythene carry bags for packaging or dispensing food articles.
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