FSSAI Is Everywhere, From The Streets To The Restaurants
For some time now, FSSAI has been focusing on eateries around the country. For this, it
has held proactive discussion with significant organisations like:
• The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)
• The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India
The topic of debate is not merely FSSAI registration but how people can lead healthier
lives. While food safety is paramount, FSSAI is now taking a stand to educate people and
make them aware of self-regulation. To accomplish this task, FSSAI has initiated several
schemes in the past few years. The plans are targeted from the streets to the restaurants
with the aim to make the FSSAI presence felt everywhere. Below we discuss some of the
prominent steps taken by the association.
• It proposed to NRAI members to display the calorie count of the dishes and food they
serve in the restaurants. The scheme, not mandatory at this stage, is meant to give the
consumer a fair idea of what they are eating. The hope is that the clear display of
calories will attract the health-conscious consumer. The proposal is voluntary and
mostly meant for big restaurant chains in the nation because adding the calorie count of
each dish by small joints might not be possible within the given deadline.
What Further Role FSSAI Has Played?
• Another scheme that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has
implemented is the “clean street food hub program”. Under the program, the association
has pinpointed 144 clusters of street food providers spanning India. These clusters will
be audited, jointly with state authorities to keep an eye on hygiene and cleanliness. The
scheme is similar to the FSSAI registration established businesses get. If the cluster
is able to meet a specific benchmark set by the FSSAI, they are awarded a “clean street
food hub certificate.”
The initiative has already proven to be successful in one city. In the Kankaria Lake area
of Ahmedabad, there are 66 vendors. They received the very first Clean Street Food Hub
certification in India. The goal of such certified street food vending zones is:
To provide safe food
To offer tasty food
To tender affordable eating options to all
The Eat Right Movement is one more role that FSSAI has taken to make food more
nutritious for consumer. This movement encompasses every step of the supply chain
from procurement to disposal. Under the program, FSSAI hopes to involve large FMCG
and food companies and get them to reformulate their products to incorporate higher nutrient content.
The objective is to address some of the prevalent health problems in
the country on a larger scale.
• FSSAI has not even left online food aggregators behind. To ensure that the consumer
has access to healthiest and hygienic food, FSSAI ordered the aggregators to delist any
FBO that was non-complaint. This led to a number of restaurants from being dropped
from platforms like Swiggy and Zomato.
Each Initiative Is A Piece Of A Puzzle.
Be it the street food scheme or the online aggregator crackdown, every initiative taken by FSSAI is a piece of a puzzle to make food healthier for all while providing
opportunities to businesses. For example, the clean street food hub program provides
better employment to the underprivileged while boosting tourism. There are 20 lakh
street food vendors in India; the initiative supports them and the citizens at large.
The ultimate of the food regulator is to guarantee that every food business operator in
the land adheres to the strictest standards and upholds hygiene before procuring FSSAI
license. It begins with FBOs and restaurants, but the association hopes to rope in:
• Places of worship
If not now, then in the future. With these steps, FSSAI is redefining what the institute
means. It is more than a body that:
• offers to license
• conducts tests
• provides registrations
It aspires to become a transparent institute that puts food nutrition and health at its
core. FSSAI CEO, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, puts it best: “We have decided to redefine our
role as an organisation that helps align the expectations of key stakeholders.”