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Why Checking Food for Valid FSSAI Number is Critical

The 14-digit FSSAI license number displayed on food products and outlets is the easiest indicator for consumers to verify critical aspects like safety, quality, and hygiene before purchase and consumption. This comprehensive guide explains what the number signifies, how to check its validity online, exemptions, and why it is important.

What Does FSSAI Number on Food Products Signify?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues several registrations and licenses to food manufacturers, processors, transporters, retailers, warehouses, etc. Display of the FSSAI license number implies:

  • The food business possesses valid FSSAI certificate for legal operations.
  • Compliance with food regulations in procurement, storage, handling, packaging, and sale.
  • Adherence to the mandated protocols and processes around food.
  • Food has cleared quality and safety checks prescribed by FSSAI.
  • Ability to identify and trace the source manufacturer/supplier if issues arise.
  • Presence of systems that minimize risks of adulteration and contamination.
  • Overall compliance provides assurance about food hygiene and quality.

How to Check if Your FSSAI License is Valid?

For food business owners, you can instantly check your FSSAI license status:

  • Enter the 14-digit FSSAI number issued to you on the online verification portal of the FSSAI website.
  • It will reflect real-time status - valid or invalid along with license details like issue and expiry date, place of business, etc.
  • You can also contact your regional FSSAI office through phone or email to cross-check validity.
  • Ensure you renew the FSSAI license
  • well in advance of the expiry date to maintain active status at all times.
  • If there is a change in place of business like new premises, apply for an updated license with a changed address.
  • How Can I Verify the FSSAI Number on Packaged Foods & Eateries?

    For packaged foods:
  • Check the product label carefully for the 14-digit FSSAI license number printed on it. This may be present along with manufacturer details.
  • Note down the FSSAI number mentioned.
  • Enter this number in the license verification section on the FSSAI Registration website.
  • It will reflect the status - valid or invalid, along with the licensee's name, address, validity, etc.
  • This can help confirm if the given FSSAI number is genuine and if the license is currently active.

  • For eateries like restaurants, cafes, etc
  • Look for the FSSAI license certificate displayed prominently by the food establishment on its premises.
  • Note down the FSSAI license number mentioned on the certificate.
  • Verify it similarly on the FSSAI portal to ascertain validity before placing an order.

  • What Does FSSAI Number on Food Bills Signify?

    Under FSSAI regulations, it is mandatory for all food businesses to prominently print or stamp the FSSAI license number on all bills and invoices issued to customers. This holds significance for consumers to:

    • Use as a reference point to check and validate food safety compliance of the eatery.
    • Quickly identify and trace the source manufacturer/supplier in case any issues arise later.
    • Ensure that the food outlet possesses a valid, active FSSAI certification to operate.
    • Feel reassured that all the mandated protocols around storage, kitchen hygiene, procurement, etc. are being followed.

    Who is Free from Obtaining FSSAI Certification?

    • End consumers using food products only for personal consumption do not need certification.
    • Charitable organizations distributing free meals do not require FSSAI license.
    • Home cooks and household kitchens are exempted from mandatory licensing.
    • Street food vendors with annual turnover below Rs 12 lakhs are currently exempted.
    • Food packed and sold on modes of transport like trains and flights do not need it.
    • Businesses involved only in the storage, transport, or sale of fully packaged food products do not require FSSAI certification.

    Why is Checking for a Valid FSSAI Number Important?

    For Consumers:
    • Ensures you purchase and consume food only from legally certified, compliant businesses.
    • Allows you to trace and report issues to the source manufacturer/supplier using the license number.
    • Gives recourse to lodge complaints with FSSAI referencing the number for redressal.
    • Builds trust about claims like quality, hygiene, ingredients, etc. through FSSAI oversight.
    • For Food Businesses:

    • Pushes businesses to transparently display updated, valid FSSAI numbers.
    • Deters negligence and shortcuts through increased consumer vigilance
    • Boosts overall compliance across the food industry due to higher accountability.

    What if No FSSAI Number is Visible on Food?

    • Avoid purchasing food products that do not display the FSSAI license number printed on the label.
    • Refrain from dining at eateries like restaurants where FSSAI certification is not prominently displayed.
    • You can report such issues to food safety authorities for suitable investigation and action.
    • Create awareness among families and the community to check for valid FSSAI numbers on food items before purchase

    Conclusion

    As a responsible consumer, making the effort to double-check food for valid FSSAI numbers goes a long way to reinforce compliance across the system. It allows you to make well-informed choices that align with your health priorities. With rising consumer vigilance, adherence to food laws and regulations also improves, creating an ecosystem where only compliant players can thrive. Our individual actions and awareness collectively contribute to public health and safety.

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  • Checking Food for a Valid FSSAI License Number Is Crucial Point
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