​FSSAI aims to improve the quality of food sold through online channels

FSSAI announced imported food items with less than 60% of shelf life will not be allowed to enter Indian market.
  • Franchise India Buereau
Restaurant India

The apex food regulator in the country, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is aiming to improve the quality of food sold through online channels, after consumers complained about expired food products being sold on ecommerce sites.

In doing so, the regulator has adopted a two-pronged approach -e-commerce entities selling packaged food will have to register with the regulator -and all e-commerce companies selling cooked food will have to take licenses.

A Foodpanda spokesperson said, "We welcome the change by FSSAI and have ourselves been diligently working on the restaurant hygiene through our Food Doctor Programme. While we constantly work towards improving and maintaining standards, we have already set the process in motion to update the licence numbers and are already halfway."

Subsequently, FSSAI announced imported food items with less than 60% of shelf life will not be allowed to enter Indian market. Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said, "We have held talks with Amazon and Snapdeal. We have also asked them to come up with their own solutions."

A Snapdeal spokesperson said, "We appreciate FSSAI for their progressive outlook in conducting a comprehensive stakeholder consultation on the guidelines for all ecommerce food business operators. With a view to enable compliance with food safety and quality standards, we shall take steps to ensure adherence to the guidelines and also facilitate required communication to the sellers and the consumers."

Albinder Dhindsa, Co-founder of Grofers, said, "Yes, we will be getting registered."

The FSSAI guidelines also said food products offered for sale by any ecommerce entity "shall be liable to sampling at any point in supply chain."

Rashmi Daga, founder of online kitchen FreshMenu, which runs kitchens in many cities across the country, said her company has all necessary licenses in place.

Rashmi said, "The new guidelines will have implications for companies that list restaurants on their sites and deliver food."

Hari Menon, Co-founder and chief executive of Bigbasket said, "We already have FSSAI licenses for all our warehouses, for our last mile delivery unit, the license numbers are prominently displayed on all our private label products. We also ensure that we sell food products of companies only if they have an FSSAI license. It is a mandatory requirement for listing products on BigBasket."

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