The apex food regulator, FSSAI, has issued a draft of regulations prescribing the set of rules for sampling and analysis of food products wherein additional conditions are included in the rules related to procedure for taking samples and manner of sending them for analysis.
Called the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Rules, 2020, the draft prescribes the food safety officers to ‘mask all the information relating to the Food Business Operator in the label of the sample including brand/ trade name and bar code through non-detachable tamper-proof stickers and provide appropriate code number’.
Further, the FSSAI has made provision that in case of sample drawn for microbiological analysis, surveillance, import clearance, analysis of perishable product having less than seven days shelf-life, complaint investigation and food safety emergency response, the requirement of four samples shall not apply and number of samples for such condition shall be as specified in the table prescribed by the FSSAI in the same draft.
According to the draft, ‘for microbiological analysis, number of samples will be as specified in appendix B of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards And Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, for surveillance, import clearance, analysis of perishable product having less than seven days shelf-life, complaint investigation and food safety emergency response, two samples will be taken respectively for each for analysis, while for other special cases, if any as may be directed by the commissioner of food safety’.
The draft also proposed to set a time period of 14 days for analysis report by the referral laboratories in case of an appeal to the Designated Officer. And in case of extra time in analysis, the referral lab shall inform the DO with reasons for the extra time.