Food business operators will no longer have to visit the civil surgeon's office to apply for registration or licence under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, as now it can be done with just a click of the mouse.
The health department has launched an online licensing and registration system at www.foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in, where besides placing an application, users can also track the status of the application through an application reference number provided by the system during the submission of application.
The food business operators could also know the status of their application through mobile phone or email as the information would be sent to the registered email address and mobile number.
District health officer (DHO) Dr Abnash Kumar said, "Now the registration and licence process has been made online. It would be convenient for food operators as now they need not rush to civil surgeon's office."
District food safety officer Ravinder Garg said, "The food safety officers were provided training by the head office regarding the online process of registration and licensing. For those who don't have access to computers, like people running rehri-pharis, it has been proposed that they could get themselves registered through suvidha centres of the respective districts."
The licensing and registration process has found very takers in Ludhiana. Despite several deadlines to apply having passed by, only 1,604 food operators applied for licence and 1,05,000 applied for registration.
As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, if the turnover is above `30 crore, the licence is issued by the Central Licensing Authority, and if it is below `30 crore, then the State Licensing Authority issues it.
It's mandatory to get licence if turnover is above `12 lakh, while food operators earning below `12 lakh need to get themselves registered.
Know the act
The Food Safety and Standards Act consolidates various acts and orders that have hitherto handled food-related issues in various departments. Various central acts like Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954; Fruit Product Order, 1955; Meat Food Products Order 1973; Vegetable Oil Products Order 1974; Edible Oils Packaging Order 1988; solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour Order 1967; and Milk and Milk Products Order 1992 were repealed after commencement of the Food Safety and Standards Act.
This act made monitoring easy and the rules and regulations were framed scientifically by one body, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
All food service providers, including restaurants, boarding houses, clubs, canteens of schools, colleges, office, institutions, caterers, banquet halls with food catering arrangements, and food vendors like dhabas or any other food business operator falls under the act.