With the advent of new technologies in digital India, FSSAI has introduced and mandated licence (e-challan) for e-commerce Food Business Operators to run businesses according to new FSSAI guidelines under FSSAI Rules and Regulations.
Registration of the E-commerce FBOs
As per the issued guidelines for e-commerce food business operators, the FSSAI stated, “E-commerce FBOs shall be covered under schedule-I of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011. The FSSAI further mentioned that the e-commerce FBOs shall avail licence from the Central Licencing Authority for the end-to-end supply chain i.e. headquarter or registered office, manufacturers, transportation, storage, distribution, etc.”
Safety, Hygiene, Delivery and Communication
Under FSSAI Rules and Regulations, FSSAI e-commerce Guidelines mentioned that only a trained professional should undertake delivery keeping safety, hygiene and time of delivery of a food product in mind. However, the listing and directory services are not covered under licensing or registration under the Act while they will have to make sure that no misleading information, false claims should be made regarding sellers or brand owners, vendors, agencies, importers and manufacturers.
Likewise, it is also mandatory for such entities to put a warning on their platforms i.e. website or application that the seller or the brand owners, manufacturers, vendors and importers have to take the responsibility in case of violation of the FSSAI Act and applicable FSSAI Rules & Regulations.
Mobile Application for more power to consumers
Standing up with the digital trends FSSAI launched a mobile application last year. It allows consumers to raise concerns related to food safety, report issues, learn about food safety tips and know about laws prescribed by the regulator and also to ensure that the e-commerce FBOs follow the FSSAI Rules and Regulations and the FSSAI Guidelines.
Listing of only the Registered/Licenced Restaurants
A recent press release regarding FSSAI e-commerce guidelines states that e-Commerce platforms don’t have licenses of approx. 30-40% restaurants out of total listed with them. However, it has become mandatory for such platforms to only have FSSAI Licenced or Registered restaurants. Mentioned their observation regarding the majority of e-Commerce Food-Based Operators (FBOs) disobeying the FSSAI Guidelines. It further directed to delist the restaurants not registered. As it will help implement FSSAI rules and regulations effectively across India.
As per the Section 3 (O) of the Food Safety and Standards Act – FSSAI, 2006 as amended thereof (“the Act”), “food business operator” with relevance to food business is a person carried on or owning the business and is accountable for confirming the compliance of the FSSAI Act rules and regulations as mentioned under the Act.
Licenses required to open a restaurant in India
- FSSAI – Food Safety And Standards Authority Licence
- Liquor Licence
- Health/Trade Licence
- Eating House Licence
- Shop and Establishment Act
- GST Registration
- Fire Department
- Lift Clearance
- Music Licence
- Certificate of Environmental Clearance
- Signage Licence
Display of License/Registration
FSSAI’s latest directives make it mandatory to display the license/registration certificate or number on the respective e-commerce platforms and display boards. It is also mandatory to display agreement between the FBO and the manufacturer or seller to obtain the FSSAI licence along with the appointment of a food safety officer/supervisor, etc. Furthermore, will be helpful to ensure compliance with the food safety guidelines under FSSAI Rules and Regulations. An e-commerce FBO shall acquire all mandatory Licenses required to open a restaurant in India to ensure hassle-free business operations.
Necessary Steps taken by FBOs
Consequently, the newspaper reports show that many e-commerce FBOs like Swiggy, Zomato, Grofers, Uber Eats, comply with FSSAI e-commerce guidelines. Further, they have delisted many unregistered restaurants from their platforms. So it ensures the steps taken by e-commerce Food-Based Operators – FBOs is a big step towards gaining proper control. Also keeps a check right from delivery to end consumer and shall improve the safety of food products across India.