Year 2018 has been very eventful for the country’s food regulator. During the year, FSSAI has accelerated the process of standards setting. As many as 27 new regulations for food standards were notified during the year. Some of the key regulations include the ones on alcoholic beverages, food fortification, advertising and claims, packaging, residues of pesticides, tolerance limits of antibiotics and pharmacologically active substances.
Food businesses are usually provided a period of at least 6-months as transition period before new standards come into force and date of effect of standards is either 1st January or 1st July. Several of the key new food standards come into force from 1st January, 2019. These are –
- Standards for all pulses, whole and decorticated pearl millet grains, de-germedmaize flour and maize grit, couscous, tempe, textured soy protein, sago flour, bee wax and royal jelly.
- Microbiological standards for fruits and vegetables and their products.
- All provisions of organic food regulations.
- Standards for honey,except few parameters where test methods are being validated.
Tolerance limit of antibiotics and pharmacology active substances would come into effect on1st January, 2019. Representations have however been received from various stakeholders highlighting some technical issues, hence the compliance period is being extended by three months so sort out these issues. Standards for alcoholic beverageswill come into force on 1st April, 2019 to coincide with financial year requirements excise laws.Food fortification regulations will come into force on 01.07.2019.
New standards for fruits and vegetable including canned tomato, jam, jelly and marmalade that were notified earlier had come into on 1st July, 2018. Revised standards for milk and milk products have come into force on 1st July, 2018, except the compliance of labeling requirement for frozen dessert which would apply from 1st July, 2019 unless reviewed. The regulations on Advertising and Claims, packaging and Labelling requirements of Blended Edible Vegetable Oils will come into force on 1st July, 2019.