The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”) by a Notification dated 10th September, 2020 has issued direction under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 regarding extension of timeline for compliance relating to Printing inks for use on food packages of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018 (“Regulation”).
As the IS Standards are usually revised by the Bureau of Indian Standards (“BIS), the Food Business Operators (“FBOs”) face difficulties with respect to immediate compliance after any revision that is published by BIS.
Therefore, considering the difficulties faced in immediate implementation of these standards, FBOs have to ensure compliance with the revised IS Standards by either 1st January or 1st July as the case may be subject to 180 days transition period from the date of publication of such standards by BIS.
FSSAI had created separate packaging regulations as it recognizes the importance of packaging in the food sector and its impact on food safety. The packaging regulations have been separated from the labelling regulations and a separate Scientific Panel for food packaging is planned.
The primary objective of packaging is to protect the food contents from microbiological, chemical, physical and atmospheric contamination and preserve the food and thereby protect consumer’s health. Good packaging also ensures that there is no change in sensory properties or composition of food when packed. Packaging is essential and critical for promoting food safety, extended shelf-life and thereby enhancing food security.
Further, the regulations also prescribe overall migration and specific migration limits of contaminants for plastic packaging materials. The Regulations specify the suggestive list of packaging materials for different food product categories. As per these Regulations, the packaging materials used for packing or storing the food products shall conform to the Indian Standards provided in the schedules.