Hygiene Requirements for FSSAI License
Hygiene Requirements for FSSAI License
Any business or entity involved in the handling, processing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, or distributing of food in India must obtain a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) License or Registration. To get the FSSAI License, the food business must comply with the general requirements on hygienic and sanitary practices mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011. This article looks at the legal requirement for hygiene and sanitary practices expected from every food business operating in India.
Location and Surroundings
The food business should ideally be located away from environmental pollution and industrial activities that produce disagreeable or obnoxious odor, fumes, excessive soot, dust, smoke, chemical or biological emissions, and pollutants, and which pose a threat of contaminating food. In case there are hazards of other environment-polluting industries located nearby, appropriate measures should be taken by the food business to protect the manufacturing area from any potential contamination. In the case of a food manufacturing premises, the premises should not have direct access to any residential area.
Layout and Design of Manufacturing Premises
As far as possible, the layout of the food establishment should be such that food preparation/manufacturing processes are not amenable to cross-contamination from other pre and post-manufacturing operations like goods receiving, pre-processing (viz. packaging, washing / portioning of ready-to-eat food, etc.).
Must maintain the floors, ceilings, and walls in sound condition to minimize the accumulation of dirt, condensation, and growth of undesirable molds. They should be waterproof, smooth, and easy to clean with no flaking paint or plaster.
The doors should also have smooth and non-absorbent surfaces, making them easy to clean and disinfect. The floor of the food processing/food service area should have adequate and proper drainage and must be easy to clean and disinfect. Also, slop the floors appropriately to facilitate drainage, and the drainage should flow opposite the direction of the food preparation/manufacturing process flow. Finally, adequate control measures should be in place to prevent insects and rodents from entering the processing area from drains.
Any Windows, doors & all other openings to the outside environment in the food premises should be well screened with wire-mesh or insect-proof screens to protect the belief from flies and other insects/pests/animals & the doors should be fitted with automatic closing springs. The mesh or the screen should be of such type, which can be easily removed for cleaning.
Also, in the food manufacturing/processing premises, no person can manufacture, store or expose for sale or permit the sale of any article of food in any premises not effectively separated to the satisfaction of the licensing authority from any privy, urinal, sullage, drain or place of storage of foul and waste matter.
Equipment and Containers
Equipment and containers that come in contact with food and are used for food handling, storage, preparation, processing, packaging, and serving should be made of corrosion-free materials which do not impart any toxicity to the food material and should be easy to clean and disinfect (other than disposable single-use types). The equipment and utensils used in food preparation should also be in good order and repaired and a, clean and sanitary.
Any utensil or container used in food preparation or processing should not be used for any other purpose. Also, all utensils or containers containing any food or ingredient of food intended for sale should at all times be either provided with a properly fitted cover/lid or with a clean gauze net or other material of texture sufficiently fine to protect the food entirely from dust, dirt and flies and other insects.
Only potable water, with appropriate facilities for its storage and distribution, should be used as an ingredient in processing and cooking. Water used for food handling, washing should be of such quality that it does not introduce any hazard or contamination to render the finished food article unsafe.
Water storage tanks in the premises should be cleaned periodically, and records of the same should be maintained in a register. Non-potable water can be used it is intended only for cleaning of equipment not coming in contact with food, which does not come into contact with food steam production, fire fighting & refrigeration equipment, and provided that pipes installed for this purpose preclude the use of this water for other purposes and present no direct or indirect risk of contamination of the raw material, dairy products or food products so processed, packed & kept in the premise. Finally, non-potable water pipes must clearly distinguish them from those in use for potable water.
Drainage and Waste Disposal
To avoid building up, remove the food waste and other waste materials periodically from the place where the process of manufacturing, handling, and cooking is. A refuse bin of adequate size with a proper cover, preferably one, must be provided on the premises for waste material collection.
The disposal of sewage and effluents (solid, liquid, and gas) should conform with the requirements of the Factory / Environment Pollution Control Board. Provide adequate drainage, waste disposal systems, and facilities, and they should be designed and constructed so that the risk of contaminating food or the potable water supply is eliminated.
Locate the water storage, so it does not contaminate the food process, storage areas, or the environment inside and outside the food establishment. You must cover all the waste in the containers and remove them regularly. Do not keep the waste open inside the premise and dispose of waste appropriately as per local rules and regulations, including those for plastics and other non-environmental-friendly materials.
Personnel Facility and Toilets
Personnel facilities should include those for proper washing and drying of hands before touching food materials, including washbasins and a supply of hot and cold water as appropriate; separate lavatories, of proper hygienic design, for males and females separately; and changing facilities for personnel and such facilities should be suitably located so that they do not open directly into food processing, handling or storage areas. Also, rest and refreshments rooms should be separate from the food processor and service areas, and these areas should not lead directly to food production, service, and storage areas.