As per the new rules set by the food and safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI), the products sold through online portals are liable for sampling at any point to verify quality. This is done to ensure the freshness of fruits and vegetables being sold online.
The FSSAI has said microbiological standards for fruit and vegetables and their products, as also tolerance limit of antibiotics and pharmacology active substances, would come into force on Tuesday.
All the E-commerce companies like BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy and Zomato have also been notified to add an indicative image of the product on their platforms so that people know what they are ordering.
FSSAI chief executive officer M. Pawan Agarwal said, “Consumers use the e-commerce platform to buy perishable products and it is important to build their confidence and credibility. For this reason, FSSAI has the right to carry out random sampling of food products offered.”
The Institute of Preventive Medicine’s state food department in-charge Dr K.S. Shankar mentioned that the guidelines are particularly being enforced in the case of cooking oil, as there were major complaints. “In the last four months, the focus has been on oil used in hotels and by roadside vendors.”
A senior food inspector also quoted, “Because of staff shortage, testing of food is carried out only when there are complaints. And most of the time, it is people who call in and send the samples.”