Food safety audit
04, Sep 2018
Prelims level : Health Mains level : Paper – II Issues Relations to Development & Management of Social Sector, Health
- In order to strengthen the food safety surveillance system, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has envisaged audit of food business operators through thirdparty private agencies.
- FSSAI said that the audit through “recognised” agencies in addition to existing enforcement and inspection procedure is critical to ensuring safety aspect of an extensive network of food businesses in India.
- FSSAI has already notified the Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulation 2018. Which outline procedure for recognition of auditing agencies, terms and conditions for recognition, duties of auditors, audit reporting and audit monitoring systems among others.
- FSSAI expects that this regulation will strengthen the food safety surveillance system in the country by encouraging self-compliance. It empowers the FSSAI to recognise an organisation or an agency for carrying out food safety audit and checking compliance with the food safety management systems. • Following this FSSAI has provisionally recognised 22 audit agencies in accordance with the draft Food Safety and Standard (Food Safety Auditing) Regulation, 2017.
- These third-party agencies will work in close coordination with the government’s food safety apparatus.
- Third-party safety audits will be made mandatory for certain food categories based on risk classification.
- Based on their audit reports, the frequency of inspections by regulatory officials will be decreased or increased, as the case may be. Satisfactory audits will lead to less frequent regulatory inspections, except regulatory sampling by central or state licensing authorities.
- These agencies will also be used to rate catering establishments under FSSAI’s Hygiene Rating Scheme and Responsible Place to Eat schemes under Project ‘Serve Safe’.
- These agencies can also be used by FSSAI for audits on central institutions/Ministries like the railways and defence.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
- The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
- FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
- Framing of regulations to lay down food safety standards
- Laying down guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing
- Providing scientific advice and technical support to the Central Government
- Contributing to the development of international technical standards in food
- Collecting and collating data regarding food consumption, contamination, emerging risks etc. 6. Disseminating information and promoting awareness about food safety and nutrition in India. P