Lockdown – FBOs to temporarily operate businesses under FSS act

FSSAI advises commissioner of food safety to conduct physical or e-inspection of FBOs

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To ensure uninterrupted food services or supply during the lockdown in the country due to coronavirus pandemic. Tt has been allowed to food business operators (FBO) other than manufacturers to temporarily operate their food business under FSS act, subject to compliance with FSS act, 2006 and rules and regulations, on the basis of a valid receipt of FSSAI license registration application having 17 digit application reference number generated on food licensing and registration system (FLRS).

The order also stated that FBOs will be required to have applied for FSSAI license or registration by making an online application with the prescribed fee through online mode on FLRS and posses a valid receipt of application. Further, FBO shall be required to inform by email to the concerned licensing or registering authority about commencing his food business, enclosing a scanned copy of the application. In addition, all the FBOs should respond to the queries on the application, if raised by the authorities and shall be bound to follow all the instructions as given by the authorities. Incase his application is rejected by the authorities, even in the lockdown period itself, FBO needs to stop all his business activities immediately.

“This permission is available only to those applicants who are allowed to operate in the lockdown period. The FBO shall cease his operations related to food at the said premises within 30 days after lockdown ends unless he has obtained a valid FSSAI license or registration as applicable,” order states.

In case of state or union territory-specific lockdown, the permission is valid only to specific state or union territory only. However, the state or union territories may restrict this permission to a certain kind of business depending upon the exigencies during the lockdown. It is again certified that this permission is not for FBOs applying for FSSAI licensing or registration for manufacture kind of business (KoB).

Subodh Jain, executive director of compliance strategy at FSSAI said, “Commissioners of food safety are advised to supervise the scheme which is for the facilitation for the food business operators in the public interest, during the period of lockdown. Once the lockdown ends, the commissioner of food safety must ensure that the FBOs who have availed the permission of operating based on 17-digit ARN generated on FLRS, shall cease operations within 30 days from the end of lockdown period.”

He also directed that the commissioners of food safety shall also ensure that the applications shall be processed on priority, and the approvals granted expeditiously for the license or registration applied. In case required, the approvals are subject to either physical or e-inspection and FBOs are required to comply with the observations of the inspection.

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