The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked Vice-Chancellors of universities across the country to ensure that canteen/mess operators at the campuses of universities and their affiliated colleges are licensed under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, which states that “no person shall commence any food business unless he or she possesses a valid license”.
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In a letter to the Vice-Chancellors of all Universities, UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu has observed that there are many canteens and/or messes on campuses of UGC recognised educational facilities which are running without a license made mandatory under the Act. “You are requested to kindly ensure the implementation of the FSS Act, 2006 in food establishments of your esteemed university and in all the affiliated colleges,” Sandhu wrote.
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The letter also said that the FSS Authority of India will conduct instruction exercises for food handlers employed in the canteens/messes of universities and colleges to better the quality of food being served there. “Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) would also organise training of food handlers working in the food establishments of the educational institutions to provide safe and wholesome food to the students,” the secretary said in the letter. adding, “You may directly contact the FSSAI, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi for the same,” Sandhu wrote in the letter.
He also directed Vice-chancellors through the letter to give the matter top priority.
The FSS Act, 2006 provides the statutory framework for regulating, inter alia the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of food so as to ensure its safety. Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses falls under Regulation 2.1.2 of the FSS Regulations, 2011.
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