Food business operators have got a breather as the deadline for licence registration as per the Food Safety and Standards Act,2006 has been extended by six months. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has also directed that nutraceuticals,proprietary foods,organic foods and genetically modified foods have to get their products approved failing which licences will be cancelled.
FSSA came into effect on August 5 last year and is expected to regulate manufacturing,storage,distribution,sale and import of food items.
The law enables consumers to register complaints against defaulters. FDA Commissioner Mahesh Zagade told Newsline that Maharashtra was way ahead of other states in registering and renewing licences of food business operators. As many as 1.29 lakh registrations and 61,789 licences have been issued since August last year.
Shashikant Kekare,Joint Commissioner,Food,Pune division said that the deadline to renew and issue licences to food business operators was August 4 this year. However,it has now been extended for another six months. In Pune division,FDA officials have renewed as many as 25,185 licences as per the FSSA and as many as 13,045 licences that were to expire in 2012 or 2014.
Pune division has earned a revenue of Rs 12 crore as part of the drive to issue and renew licences. Maharashtra as a whole earned a revenue of Rs 43 crore.
At a meeting in New Delhi,S N Mohanty,CEO,FSSAI,had said there were certain grey areas since the Act was operationalised as some states were giving licences under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act instead of the FSSA.
Maharashtra FDA officials said that the Act was new and hence there was still a lack of understanding. Zagade said that a monitoring system had been developed for implementing FSSA.
Paan masala worth Rs 4.56 lakh seized
PUNE: A total of 706 rounds of inspection have been conducted by FDA officials in Pune division (that includes Pune,Solapur,Satara,
Sangli and Kolhapur) since July 20. Gutkha and paan masala worth Rs 11.3 lakh have been seized. As many as 25 food safety officers are involved in conducting the raids and the maximum amount of gutkha and paan masala worth Rs 4.56 lakh has been seized from the city.
A total of 4,188 packets and 39 kg of gutkha was seized,FDA officials said.