The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, or FSSAI, has launched a portal for effective and transparent implementation of food laws. Planned as a single interface for food businesses, it is expected to enforce common standards and credible testing across the country. The idea of one nation, one food law, is not new. In 2006, the Centre had consolidated all existing laws on food safety and standards to enact an umbrella law based on the same principle. The FSSAI was set up under this law to lay down standards for food and regulate manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and imports. However, the implementation was never uniform.
Can it be different this time? Technology has made remote and real-time monitoring of regulatory approvals possible. All state licensing authorities are migrating to a central, online registration and licensing platform. A nationwide manual for food safety officers to understand practices and procedures to be followed has been developed. Capacity building and changed mindsets are the need of the hour.
Joe C. Mathew and Nevin John