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FSSAI Food Testing Procedure

FSSAI Food Testing Procedure

FSSAI Food Testing Procedure

To ensure the quality and safety of any food products, food sampling or food analysis can be ordered and carried out by an FSSAI Office. As per the Food and Safety Standards Act, testing of food articles is to be conducted once in six months through NABL accredited or FSSAI-notified lab. For a food analysis, a sample food product would be drawn, packed, sealed, and sent to an authorized lab to analyze the quality and safety of the food product. This article looks at the procedures followed during an FSSAI food testing procedure.

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Importance of Laboratory testing Under FSSAI

Food testing and analysis are essential for the safekeeping of the food ecosystem. Food laboratory tests ensure that the food is safe for consumption.

  • Food testing ensures that the products comply with the Food and Safety Standards Act:
  • Lab testing Protect the brand equity and loyalty of consumers by delivering healthy food;
  • Protects consumers from contaminated, modified, and healthy food;
  • Ensures proper storage, packing, and distribution of food commodities; and
  • Laboratory testing under FSSAI provides services in all areas of food testing, including-
    • Food adulterant testing
    • Chemical Contaminant testing
    • Microbial Testing
    • Drug Residue Testing

Procedure Involved in FSSAI Testing

If an FSSAI officer draws a food sample, the following procedures must be followed during the sample collection process:

Signature of Witnesses

The Food Safety officer should call for one or more witnesses while taking the sample piece and obtain a signature on all related forms and documents.

Notice to the Business Operator

If the product has been obtained from the manufacturer or supplier, a notice in Form V-A shall be issued to them. When a product is drawn from an open container, the person drawing the sample should draw another sample from a container in its original condition bearing the same declaration and intimate the same to the Food Analyst.

Payment for the Sample

The Food Safety Officer should pay the cost of the sample to the person from whom the sample drew it. The price should be calculated at the rate at which the product is sold to the public.

Packing of Sample

The sample food for the analysis should be taken in clean, dry bottles or jars or in a container that should be adequately sealed to prevent leakage, and evaporation and to avoid the entrance of moisture. When selecting an already packed product as a sample, no further sealing is required.

Labeling the Package

The package should be properly labeled and should bear the following requirements:

  • Code of the sample
  • Name of the sender with his official designation
  • Date and place of collection
  • Nature of the product that has been sent for analysis
  • Nature and quantity of preservative added to the sample

Sealing of package

The sample should be divided into four parts, and each piece should be sealed and wrapped using strong paper. The ends of the form should be folded and affixed. Further, a paper slip that covers the bottom to the top of the container, bearing the signature of the designated officer, should be pasted on the wrapper.

The signature or thumb impression of the person from whom the sample has been taken should be affixed so that the paper slip and the wrapper bear part of the signature or the thumb impression. The paper cover should be further protected by means of a strong thread above and across the jar. The knots of the thread should be covered by wax bearing the impression of the sender’s seal.

Dispatch of the Package

The containers of the samples shall be dispatched in the following manner:

  • The sealed container of one part of the sample, along with the memorandum in Form VI should be sent to the Food Analyst.
  • The second and third parts of the sample along with two copies of the memorandum in Form VI should be sent to the Designated Officer.
  • The fourth part of the sample along with a copy of the memorandum in Form VI should be sent to an accredited laboratory along with the prescribed fee.

On receipt of the food sample, the authorized FSSAI lab would analyze the quality and safety of the sample food product and pass the final decision.

Food Testing Laboratories in India

There are around 600 Food Testing Laboratories in India including all NABL-accredited laboratories, those owned by the private sector, FBOs, state/central government, FSSAI-notified laboratories, etc.

Other than these labs, there is another group of Food Testing Laboratories, which includes small players and a larger pool of food testing labs that exists with the FBOs to carry out tests for raw materials and finished goods.