The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued revised guidelines for food and grocery operators and that is directly going to impact Grofers and BigBasket as well as food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato. All this is done to scrutinize food companies because there is no compromise on food quality and safety of food products. The guidelines are part of directives issued by the regulator to re-operationalize licensing and registration of e-commerce food companies.
FSSAI has also put a mandate that all important information should be provided to the customers before purchase and only fresh food should be delivered to the consumers. Food products offered for sale are can any point in the supply chain be tested for quality. Also, the companies should provide an indicative image of the food on their platforms so that consumers can recognize the product.
FSSAI chief executive Pawan Agarwal said, “With the increasing use of e-commerce platforms by consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on the safety of food provided to consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on the safety of food provided to consumers. These guidelines will help in building confidence in the e-commerce food business sector and increase its credibility.”
Online grocery startup Grofers’ chief executive Albinder Dhindsa said, “While we are compliant with all regulatory guidelines such as last-mile delivery and shelf life, we also ensure that our merchant partners follow the same. We don’t work with merchants who don’t have the necessary compliance. That is a challenge that the regulator has to enforce.”
A spokesperson from the company said, “We welcome any move by FSSAI which will help us make the restaurant industry safer for consumers. We provide last-mile delivery to our users and are taking stringent steps to ensure the safety of food.”
The spokesperson added, “While we are already compliant with the mandatory directives in the FSS Act, we will work with the regulator on any measures required to drive development in the ecosystem.”
As per the guidelines the food business operators need to ensure that the last-mile delivery is undertaken by trained personnel and that the safety of food products is not compromised at the time of delivery.