FOSTAC, or Food Safety Training and Certification, is a training program of the Food Safety & Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) initiated to raise awareness of Food Safety & Standards among food business operators. As per the provisions under FSSAI Act, all food business operators must have trained and certified an individual in their business premises to ensure food safety. This article looks in detail at the Food Safety Training and Certification (FOSTAC).
The objectives of the FOSTAC are listed below:
- To bring behavioral change and inculcate a culture of food safety across the country.
- To create an improved environment of self-compliance to food safety and standards.
Eligibility Criteria for Trainees
Individuals who satisfy the following eligibility criteria can apply for the course under FSSAI.
Basic Level Course
- If the individual works in the food business, six months of experience in the relevant sector (depending upon the course selected) is required.
- Any student pursuing a final year of undergraduate graduation in nutrition, hospitality, food science, or other allied fields is eligible to apply for this introductory-level course.
Advanced Level Course
- Any Graduate in science with one year of experience in a supervisory role in the relevant sector is eligible to apply for the advanced-level course.
- Graduates in non-science disciplines with two years of experience in a supervisory role in the relevant sector can attend the advanced level.
- Any student pursuing a final year of undergraduate graduation in nutrition, hospitality, food science, or other allied fields is eligible to apply for this advanced-level course.
- Any scientific graduate with one year of experience in a supervisory role in the relevant sector is eligible to apply for the particular course.
- Graduates in non-science disciplines with two years of experience in a supervisory role in a particular sector can attend the unique course.
Food Safety Courses
FOSTAC offers seventeen courses for different types of food businesses on different competency levels. The training for the food safety supervisors would be conducted at the primary, advanced, and special courses through face-to-face mode. Also, FSSAI has created training content for the courses, and the same is available in English and translated into other regional languages.
Details of FOSTAC Courses
The details of the FOSTAC Courses are tabulated below for the trainees:
|S.No||FOSTAC Courses||Duration||Mandatory/Optional||Kind of Business for which applicable|
|1.||Level 2 (Manufacturing)- Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for all manufacturing units other than milk and milk product processing units, health supplements, and nutraceuticals.||All Food processing units except milk and milk product processing units, health supplements, and nutraceuticals.|
|2.||Level 1 (Manufacturing) – Food Safety Supervisor||4 hours per day||Recommended for small manufacturing units||For all types of small manufacturing units.|
|3.||Milk and Milk Product- Food Safety Supervisor||12 hours per day||Mandatory for milk and milk product processing units||Food processing units – milk and milk products.|
|4.||Meats and Poultry- Food safety supervisor||12 hours per day||Mandatory for meat and poultry processing units||Food processing units – Meats and poultry, excluding small slaughterhouses.|
|5.||Fish and Seafood- Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for fish and sea processing units||Food processing units – Fish and other seafood|
|6.||Health Supplements- Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for health supplements units||Food processing units – Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals.|
|7.||Level 2 (Bakery) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Optional for bakery units||Food processing units – Bakery|
|8.||Level 1 (Bakery) – Food Safety Supervisor||4 hours per day||Recommended for small bakery units||Small Scale Food processing units – Bakery|
|9.||Edible oil and Fats- Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Optional for edible oil and fat manufacturing units||Food processing units – Vegetable oil and fats|
|10.||Water and water-based beverages – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Optional for processing units – Water and water-based beverages||Food processing units – Water and water-based beverages|
|11.||Level 2 (Retail) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for retail units||Retailers and Wholesalers|
|12.||Level 1(Retail and Distribution) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Recommended for small units||For all types of small retail shop|
|13.||Level 2 (Storage and Transport) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for storage and transport units||Food storage and transporters|
|14.||Level 1( Storage and Transport) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Recommended for small units||For all types of small storage and transport unit|
|15.||Level 2 (Catering) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for catering units||Catering establishments include restaurants, hotels, dhabas, caterers, rail and flight catering, canteens, etc.|
|16.||Level 1 (Catering) – Food Safety Supervisor||8 hours per day||Mandatory for small catering units||For all types of small catering units|
|17.||Street Food Vendor||4 hours per day||Recommended for Street Food Vendors||Street Food Vendors|
Responsibility of Training Partner
The following are the responsibilities of the training partner:
- Registration through the FOSTAC portal as a training partner.
- We are identifying trainers per eligibility criteria and organizing the Training of Trainer Programme (TOT) in partnership with FSSAI.
- Mobilization of trainees
- Provision of the training center with adequate infrastructure.
- Upload calendar and venture details in the portal.
- Evaluation and uploading of the result in the portal for certificate generation.
Any Organization have been in existence for at least one year on the date of the application is eligible to apply as a training partner.
Any professional, trade, and scientific associations in the food sector at regional, state, and national levels with at least 100 members.
Licensed Food Business
- Any Food Business Operator (FBO) holding an FSSAI license and having an annual turnover of Rs.150 crore can be the training partner for the training of FBO.
- Academic & Vocational Institutes
- Any recognized colleges, management institutes, technical universities, and other academic institutions.
- Partners approved by Government and skill councils
- Partners approved by the skill council, NSDC, and other Central or State governments.
Other Training Agencies
At least three years experience at the international and national level in training on food safety or nutrition.
To register for the FOSTAC program under FSSAI, follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: The trainee interested in participating in the FOSTAC program can register through the official portal of FOSTAC.
Step 2: Click the “register” “button to complete the trainee registration form with the necessary details.
Step 3: After filling out the registration form, click the “verify” “button to submit your details.
Step 4: The trainee can enroll in the desired course and generate an admit card to attend classroom training as per the schedule if eligible.
Note: On completion of training, the qualified trainer can download their certificate by submitting the feedback on the same portal.
Step 1: The applicant has to check the eligibility criteria before applying for the training partner.
Step 2: The eligible training partner has to fill out the prescribed application form, which is available on the portal.
Step 3: The registered partners will receive a unique user id and password for operating their account on the FOSTAC portal.
Step 4: The qualified ttrainee’scertificate will be generated, which contains the unique number required for mandatory compliance with FSS regulation.
Note: The information provided on the portal offers the status regarding the training across the country.
NLRP, Trainer & Assessor
Step 1: Any domain experts from Academia, industry, or other food safety professionals like researchers, the auditor can submit their resume at [email protected].
Step 2: After verification, the experts eligible as NLRP can organize competency-based NLRP workshops, and trainers are allowed to train trainers on the specific training program.
Step 3: In the TOT program, each participant got assessed, and the detail of the applicant will be transferred automatically to the FOSTAC portal. Additionally, senior trainers and NLRPs will enroll in the same portal as an assessor.
Step 4: Once the trainers, assessors, and NLRP details got uploaded to the portal; then they will receive an individual login id and password for accessing the portal.