Alcoholic beverages, pan masala and supari need not be treated as “unsafe food” for recall just because they carry mandatory warning that their consumption is injurious to health, apex food regulator FSSAI has proposed. The proposal is part of the draft Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulations, 2015, which has been put up for public comments. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) came out with the draft norms amid safety concerns over Maggi noodles, which was earlier this month recalled from the market.
“In the case of alcoholic beverages, pan masala, supari, the mandatory mention of warning ‘consumption of alcohol/ pan masala/ supari is injurious to health’ may not be treated as unsafe food as part of any recall plan unless the beverage or food is determined unsafe as per the classification of recall making it injurious to health or even causing death,” the draft said. FSSAI has proposed regulations for recall process with the objective to guide the food business operators on how to carry out a recall process. ‘Food under recall’ means the specific lot or batch or code number of food item, which has been determined by the food authority or food safety commissioners of States/UTs as unsafe food causing injury or liable to cause injury to health or even death. The primary responsibility of recalling the unsafe food lies with the manufacturer, importer or company engaged in wholesale supply or the brand owner of the food product.
“A food business operator engaged in the manufacturing, importation and wholesale supply of food shall initiate a recall process at any time to fulfill its responsibility to protect public health from food that is unsafe for the consumer,” FSSAI said. In case of a recall, the food business operator also needs to submit the plan for that unsafe product.
“A recall plan must be available in writing and shall be made available to the Food Authority or the commissioner of Food Safety of the State/UT, as the case may be, on request.
“The food business operator shall comply with the plan it has developed when it recalls food and the recall plan shall be integrated into his business. It shall also be part of the annual audit of the food business,” it said.
These draft norms were put up for public comments on May 29 and the deadline ends on August