Punishment for Food Adulteration

Punishment for Food Adulteration – FSSAI

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Punishment for Food Adulteration – FSSAI

Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to control their manufacture, storage, allotment, sale and import to make sure availability of safe and decent food for human expenditure. All entities involved in the manufacturing, storing, transportation or selling of food products are required to obtain FSSAI registration and comply with FSSAI regulations.

Adulteration

Adulteration of food is defined as “the addition or subtraction of any substance to or from food so that the natural composition and quality of food substance is affected”. Adulteration can be deliberate by either removing substances to food or varying the existing natural properties of food intentionally. Adulteration can also be unintentional due to ignorance, carelessness or lack of amenities for maintaining food quality.

Punishment for Adulteration

The FSSAI regulations provide for various punishment to persons who adulter food or food products as under:

  • Import, manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of any food article which is adulterated by allowing its quality or purity to fall below the prescribed standard, or is misbranded, or in contravention of any provision of the Act or Rules. The penalty for this offense is a minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and a minimum fine of Rs 1000.
  • Import, manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of any adulterant not injurious to health. Penalty is minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and minimum fine of Rs 1000.
  • Preventing a Food Inspector from taking a sample or exercising his  Penalty is minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and minimum fine of Rs 1000.
  • Giving a false warranty in writing in respect of any food article. Penalty is minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and minimum fine of Rs 1000
  • Import, manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of any food article which is adulterated or any adulterant which is injurious to health is being used is punishable under Law. Penalty is minimum imprisonment of one year that may extend up to 6 years and minimum fine of Rs 2000
  • Sale or distribution of any food article containing any poisonous or other ingredients injurious to health, which is likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. Penalty is minimum imprisonment of three years that may extend up to life and minimum fine of Rs 5000.

Process for Checking Food Adulteration

The implementation and enforcement of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 rests with State Governments. Random samples of food items are drawn by the State Food Safety Officers and sent to the laboratories recognized by the FSSAI for analysis. In cases, where samples are found to contain adulterants, action is taken as per the provision of FSSAI Act.

Powers of Food Safety Officer

A food safety officer is the authorized person to inspect the safety and security of food that is being served in restaurants or street food stalls. In case the food inspected by an officer is not fresh or had got spoilt, the FSSAI officer has all the rights to stop production of such food and issue a warning in writing to the organizer. Further, Food Safety Officer can also search or inspect any place with the help of the police force. Usually, the search is controlled or managed by a search warrant issued under the penal code.

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FSSAI registration or license is required for all entities involved in the production, distribution and transportation of food products.

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