Food safety act

An Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Establishment of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

The Central Government shall, establish a body to be known as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.

The Food Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and the following twenty-two members out of which one-third shall be women. They respectively represent the Ministries or Departments of the Central Government dealing with:-

  1. Agriculture
  2. Commerce
  3. Consumer Affairs
  4. Food Processing
  5. Health
  6. Legislative Affairs
  7. Small Scale Industries, who shall be Members ex officio

The Food Authority shall, establish a Committee to be known as the Central Advisory Committee. The Central Advisory Committee shall follow such rules of procedure, including its transaction of business as may be specified by regulations. This Committee shall ensure close co-operation between the Food Authority and the enforcement agencies and organisations operating in the field of food. It gives directions, on matters relating to food safety and standards, to the Commissioner of Food Safety,

The Food Authority shall establish scientific panels, which shall consist of independent scientific experts. The Scientific Committee shall be responsible for providing the scientific opinions to the Food Authority, It shall be the duty of the Food Authority to regulate and monitor the manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food.No article of food shall contain any contaminant, naturally occurring toxic substances or toxins or hormone or heavy metals in excess of such quantities as may be specified by regulations.

Every food business operator shall ensure that the articles of food satisfy the requirements of this Act and the rules and regulations made there under.

  • “Genetically engineered or modified food” means food and food ingredients composed of or containing genetically modified or engineered organisms obtained through modern biotechnology.
  • “organic food” means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified organic production standards.
  • “proprietary and novel food” means an article of food for which standards have not been specified but is not unsafe:

The Food Authority shall prepare, its budget for the next financial year, showing the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Food Authority and forward the same to the Central Government.

Food Business Operator

No person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a licence.If the food business operator fails to comply with an improvement notice, his licence may be suspended.

If the Designated Officer is satisfied that the health risk condition exists with respect to any food business, he may, serve a notice to the food business operator and apply to the Commissioner of Food Safety for imposing the prohibition.

The Food Authority and the State Food Safety Authorities shall monitor and verify that the relevant requirements of the law are fulfilled by food business operators at all stages of food business.

Food Safety Officer

The Food Authority may, require registered medical practitioners carrying on their profession in any local area specified, to report all occurrences of food poisoning coming to their notice.

The Food Safety Officer may-

  1. take a sample- which appears to him to be intended to be sold for human consumption or any article of food which he has reason to believe that it may be required as evidence in proceedings.
  2. seize any article of food.

The Food Safety Officer shall be responsible for inspection of food business, drawing samples and sending them to Food Analyst for analysis.

Food Analyst

On receipt of a package containing a sample for analysis from a Food Safety Officer or any other person, the Food Analyst shall compare the seal on the container and the outer cover with specimen impression received separately and shall note the conditions of the seal thereon.

The Food Authority shall prepare, its budget for the next financial year, showing the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Food Authority and forward the same to the Central Government.

Protection of action taken in good faith.

No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Central Government, the State Government, the Food Authority and other bodies constituted under this Act or any officer of the Central Government, the State Government or any member, officer or other employee of such Authority and bodies or any other officer acting under this Act for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made there under.