An FSSAI license is an obligatory requirement for restaurant owners in India because it ensures the safety and standardization of the food prepared and sold. It is one of the prerequisites to start a food business in India. Every restaurant owner needs to register their business with FSSAI. Operating a restaurant business without obtaining the FSSAI license is a serious legal offence and invites severe penalties. In this article, we will discuss the 7 Essential Conditions to Get an FSSAI License for Restaurants.
FSSAI License for Restaurants
1. Cleanliness and Sanitation
The FSSAI food licensing and registration guidelines require that a restaurant has properly sanitized and nicely maintained food preparation areas, toilets, and changing facilities.
a.) Food Preparation Areas – Restaurants should use a chimney with an appropriate suction capacity for all cooking processes.
b.) Handwashing facilities and Toilets – Restaurants should have an adequate number of washbasins with taps for 24-hour running hot and cold water.
c.) Changing facilities – A restaurant should provide its staff with proper facilities to change their attire wherever necessary.
2. Good Hygiene
a.) Cleaning – Restaurants should ensure that the working areas and equipment/utensils are clean and free of disinfectants.
b.) Water Supply – There should be an ample supply of potable water. The water should not contain any harmful chemicals and bacteria. Restaurants should make ice and steam for consumption using the same potable water.
c.) Raw Materials – Restaurants should follow specific FSSAI guidelines related to milk and milk products to handle and prepare raw materials and final products.
Preparation of Fruits/ Vegetables
- Cleaning of uncooked, ready-to-eat fruits & vegetables with 50 ppm chlorinated water before peeling.
- Cleaning of equipment made of non-absorbent food-grade materials, used for peeling and cutting fruits & vegetables.
Preparation of Non-Vegetarian Food Items
- Restaurants should keep raw and processed meat separately from other food items.
- Proper and adequate cleaning of all surfaces with anti-bacterial agents before use.
- Restaurants must take all necessary precautions to eliminate and reduce any potential health hazards resulting from cooking processes.
- Eateries should not frequently reuse the cooking oil for frying food items.
Fridge, chillers and display units should be in good working condition, and a temperature of 5-degree Celsius should be maintained at all times.
- Eating joints should keep raw food/ meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food items separately.
- Restaurants should train all staff adequately and appropriately to avoid any risk of cross-contamination.
3. Personal Hygiene
- Food production personnel should dress appropriately in clean protective clothing, hair covering, footwear, gloves, facial masks, etc.
- Food production personnel should use disinfectants and handwashing facilities whenever they enter or re-enter food processing areas. Handwashing facilities should be equipped with hands-free operated taps, liquid soaps, and disposable paper towels and covered waste bins.
- Restaurants should ensure that unhealthy practices such as drinking, smoking, spitting, etc., within the food processing premises are restricted.
4. Transportation and Handling of Food
- The interior of food vehicles should be lined with appropriate materials and should be equipped with suitable facilities.
- Chilled/frozen food products should be accompanied by an FSSAI Transporter License and FSSAI License for Restaurants must be transported at appropriately regulated temperatures.
- Vehicles should be hygienic, free from pest invasion and other types of pollutants.
- Restaurants should use different vehicles for transporting raw and finished products.
The FSSAI license and registration system guidelines mandate that the storage of raw materials and prepared food items be proper. Restaurants should keep the following points in mind while storing food items.
- Restaurants should store chemicals, detergents, and other cleaning materials in clearly specified areas, separate from food products.
- Ingredients, half-done and finished products should be stored and maintained at an appropriate temperature.
- Ingredients, intermediate and finished products should be handled and stored appropriately to prevent damage, contamination, and spoilage.
- Restaurants should practice proper stock rotation (First-In-First-out) to prevent deterioration and spoilage of raw materials and finished products.
- The defective, suspect and returned products must be identified and isolated in a designated area or containers.
6. Special Requirements for High-Risk Foods
a) Fruits/Salads/Fresh juices/Beverages – Restaurants should ensure that cut fruits/salads, fresh juices, beverages, and juice dispensing machines should be clean and free from contaminants.
b) Confectionary products – Eating joints should properly refrigerate confectionary products with labels indicating expiry dates.
c) Meat, poultry, and fish products
- All non-vegetarian products must be fresh and adequately washed with clean and fresh water.
- All processing areas should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
d) Water-based chutneys, sauces etc.
- Restaurants should use clean and disinfected chopping boards.
- Eateries should use permitted food additives in recommended quantities.
- Eating joints must use Glass/Food-grade plastic containers with a proper lid to store Sauces and chutneys.
e) Fried foods
- Good quality branded oil/fats should be used for cooking, frying and other operations.
- Restaurants should only use packaged oil.
- Oil, once used, must not be reused for frying and other cooking operations.
7. Documentation and Records
- Restaurants should maintain records of daily production, the raw materials used, and sales.
- Restaurants should conduct a periodic audit of the whole system based on the standard operating procedures concerning good manufacturing practices/good hygienic practices (GMP/ GHP).
- Accounts of sale and acquisition of the food items sold to a recorded/licensed vendor and raw material purchased from a registered supplier.
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