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FOOD SAFETY AND STANDARDS ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 34 of 2006


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter v
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter IX
  • Chapter X
  • Chapter XI
  • Chapter XII
  • Schedules
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 34 of 2006

Preamble

THE FOOD SAFETY AND STANDARDS ACT, 2006

[Act No. 34 OF 2006]

[23rd August, 2006.]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date1 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates 2may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

1. Sections 4 to 10 (both inclusive), Sections 87, 88, 91 and 101 effective from 15.10.2007 vide Notification No. SO1758(E) dated 15.10.2007.

"Further added

Enforcement date appointed by the Notification No. SO1246(E) dated 28.05.2008 as 28th day of May, 2008 for the sections 3 and 30.

Further added

Enforcement date appointed by the Notification No. SO2127(E) dated 28.08.2008 as 28th day of August, 2008 for the section 90."

2. Section 36 to 47 effective form 31.07.2009 vide Notification No. S.O 1868(E) dated 31.07.2009.


Section 2. Declaration as to expediency of control by the Union

It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Union should take under its control the food industry.

Section 3. Definitions

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "adulterant" means any material which is or could be employed for making the food unsafe or sub-standard or mis-branded or containing extraneous matter;

(b) "advertisement" means any audio or visual publicity, representation or pronouncement made by means of any light, sound, smoke, gas, print, electronic media, internet or website and includes through any notice, circular, label, wrapper, invoice or other documents;

(c) "Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Food Authority;

(d) "claim" means any representation which states, suggests or implies that a food has particular qualities relating to its origin, nutritional properties, nature, processing, composition or otherwise;

(e) "Commissioner of Food Safety" means the Commissioner of Food Safety appointed under section 30;

(f) " consumer" means persons and families purchasing and receiving food in order to meet their personal needs;

(g) "contaminant" means any substance, whether or not added to food, but which is present in such food as a result of the production (including operations carried out in crop husbandry, animal husbandry or veterinary medicine), manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food or as a result of environmental contamination and does not include insect fragments, rodent hairs and other extraneous matter;

(h) "Designated Officer" means the officer appointed under section 36;

(i) "extraneous matter" means any matter contained in an article of food which may be carried from the raw materials, packaging materials or process systems used for its manufacture or which is added to it, but such matter does not render such article of food unsafe;

(j) "food" means any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption and includes primary food to the extent defined in clause (ZK), genetically modified or engineered food or food containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged drinking water, alcoholic drink, chewing gum, and any substance, including water used into the food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment but does not include any animal feed, live animals unless they are prepared or processed for placing on the market for human consumption, plants prior to harvesting, drugs and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances:

Provided that the Central Government may declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, any other article as food for the purposes of this Act having regards to its use, nature, substance or quality;

(k) "food additive" means any substance not normally consumed as a food by itself or used as a typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological (including organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or holding of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result (directly or indirectly), in it or its by-products becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the characteristics of such food but does not include "contaminants" or substances added to food for maintaining or improving nutritional qualities;

(l) "Food Analyst" means an analyst appointed under section 45;

(m) "Food Authority" means the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India established under section 4;

(n) "food business" means any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, import and includes food services, catering services, sale of food or food ingredients;

(o) "food business operator" in relation to food business means a person by whom the business is carried on or owned and is responsible for ensuring the compliance of this Act, rules and regulations made thereunder;

(p) "food laboratory" means any food laboratory or institute established by the Central or a State Government or any other agency and accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories or an equivalent accreditation agency and recognised by the Food Authority under section 43;

(q) "food safety" means assurance that food is acceptable for human consumption according to its intended use;

(r) "food safety audit" means a systematic and functionally independent examination of food safety measures adopted by manufacturing units to determine whether such measures and related results meet with objectives of food safety and the claims made in that behalf;

(s) "Food Safety Management System" means the adoption of Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygienic Practices, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point and such other practices as may be specified by regulation, for the food business;

(t) "Food Safety Officer" means an officer appointed under section 37;

(u) "hazard" means a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect;

(v) "import" means bringing into India any article of food by land, sea or air;

(w) "improvement notice" means a notice issued under section 32 of this Act;

(x) "infant food" and "infant milk substitute" shall have the meanings assigned to them in clauses (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992(41 of 1992), respectively;

(y) "ingredient" means any substance, including a food additive used in the manufacture or preparation of food and present in the final product, possibly in a modified form;

(z) "label" means any tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive matter, written, printed, stencilled, marked, embossed, graphic, perforated, stamped or impressed on or attached to container, cover, lid or crown of any food package and includes a product insert;

(za) "licence" means a licence granted under section 31;

(zb) "local area" means any area, whether urban or rural, notified by the Commissioner of Food Safety, to be a local area for the purposes of this Act;

(zc) "manufacture" means a process or adoption or any treatment for conversion of ingredients into an article of food, which includes any sub-process, incidental or ancillary to the manufacture of an article of food;

(zd) "manufacturer" means a person engaged in the business of manufacturing any article of food for sale and includes any person who obtains such article from another person and packs and labels it for sale or only labels it for such purposes;

1[(ze) "Member" includes a part-time Member and the Chairperson of the Food Authority;]

(zf) "misbranded food" means an article of food--

(A) if it is purported, or is represented to be, or is being--

(i) offered or promoted for sale with false, misleading or deceptive claims either;

(a) upon the label of the package, or

(b) through advertisement, or

(ii) sold by a name which belongs to another article of food; or

(iii) offered or promoted for sale under the name of a fictitious individual or company as the manufacturer or producer of the article as borne on the package or containing the article or the label on such package; or

(B) if the article is sold in packages which have been sealed or prepared by or at the instance of the manufacturer or producer bearing his name and address but--

(i) the article is an imitation of, or is a substitute for, or resembles in a manner likely to deceive, another article of food under the name of which it is sold, and is not plainly and conspicuously labelled so as to indicate its true character; or

(ii) the package containing the article or the label on the package bears any statement, design or device regarding the ingredients or the substances contained therein, which is false or misleading in any material particular, or if the package is otherwise deceptive with respect to its contents; or

(iii) the article is offered for sale as the product of any place or country which is false; or

(C) if the article contained in the package--

(i) contains any artificial flavouring, colouring or chemical preservative and the package is without a declaratory label stating that fact or is not labelled in accordance with the requirements of this Act or regulations made thereunder or is in contravention thereof; or

(ii) is offered for sale for special dietary uses, unless its label bears such information as may be specified by regulation, concerning its vitamins, minerals or other dietary properties in order sufficiently to inform its purchaser as to its value for such use; or

(iii) is not conspicuously or correctly stated on the outside thereof within the limits of variability laid down under this Act.

(zg) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(zh) "package" means a pre-packed box, bottle, casket, tin, barrel, case, pouch, receptacle, sack, bag, wrapper or such other things in which an article of food is packed;

(zi) "premises" include any shop, stall, hotel, restaurant, airline services and food canteens, place or vehicle or vessel where any article of food is sold or manufactured or stored for sale;

(zj) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be under this Act;

(zk) "primary food" means an article of food, being a produce of agriculture or horticulture or animal husbandry and dairying or aquaculture in its natural form, resulting from the growing, raising, cultivation, picking, harvesting, collection or catching in the hands of a person other than a farmer or fisherman;

(zl) "prohibition order" means an order issued under section 33 of this Act;

(zm) "risk", in relation to any article of food, means the probability of an adverse effect on the health of consumers of such food and the severity of that effect, consequential to a food hazard;

(zn) "risk analysis", in relation to any article of food, means a process consisting of three components, i.e., risk assessment, risk management and risk communication;

(zo) "risk assessment" means a scientifically based process consisting of the following steps: (i) hazard identification, (ii) hazard characterisation, (iii) exposure assessment, and (iv) risk characterisation;

(zp) "risk communication" means the interactive exchange of information and opinions throughout the risk analysis process concerning risks, risk-related factors and risk perceptions, among risk assessors, risk managers, consumers, industry, the academic community and other interested parties, including the explanation of risk assessment findings and the basis of risk management decisions;

(zq) "risk management" means the process, distinct from risk assessment, of evaluating policy alternatives, in consultation with all interested parties considering risk assessment and other factors relevant for the protection of health of consumers and for the promotion of fair trade practices, and, if needed, selecting appropriate prevention and control options;

(zr) "sale" with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means the sale of any article of food, whether for cash or on credit or by way of exchange and whether by wholesale or retail, for human consumption or use, or for analysis, and includes an agreement for sale, an offer for sale, the exposing for sale or having in possession for sale of any such article, and includes also an attempt to sell any such article;

(zs) "sample" means a sample of any article of food taken under the provisions of this Act or any rules and regulations made thereunder;

(zt) "specified by regulations" means specified by regulations made by the Food Authority;

(zu) "standard", in relation to any article of food, means the standards notified by the Food Authority;

(zv) "State Government" in relation to a Union territory means the Administrator of that Union territory appointed by the President under article 239 of the Constitution;

(zw) "substance" includes any natural or artificial substance or other matter, whether it is in a solid state or in liquid form or in the form of gas or vapour;

(zx) "sub-standard", an article of food shall be deemed to be sub-standard if it does not meet the specified standards but not so as to render the article of food unsafe;

(zy) "Tribunal" means the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal established under section 70;

(zz) "unsafe food" means an article of food whose nature, substance or quality is so affected as to render it injurious to health:--

(i) by the article itself, or its package thereof, which is composed, whether wholly or in part, of poisonous or deleterious substances; or

(ii) by the article consisting, wholly or in part, of any filthy, putrid, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal substance or vegetable substance; or

(iii) by virtue of its unhygienic processing or the presence in that article of any harmful substance; or

(iv) by the substitution of any inferior or cheaper substance whether wholly or in part; or

(v) by addition of a substance directly or as an ingredient which is not permitted; or

(vi) by the abstraction, wholly or in part, of any of its constituents; or

(vii) by the article being so coloured, flavoured or coated, powdered or polished, as to damage or conceal the article or to make it appear better or of greater value than it really is; or

(viii) by the presence of any colouring matter or preservatives other than that specified in respect thereof; or

(ix) by the article having been infected or infested with worms, weevils or insects; or

(x) by virtue of its being prepared, packed or kept under unsanitary conditions; or

(xi) by virtue of its being mis-branded or sub-standard or food containing extraneous matter; or

(xii) by virtue of containing pesticides and other contaminants in excess of quantities specified by regulations.

(2) Any reference in this Act to a law which is not in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall, in relation to that State, be construed as a reference to the corresponding Law, if any, in force in that State.

_
1. Substituted by the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Act, 2008 w.e.f. 7th day of February, 2008 for the line :-

"(ze) "Member" means Member of the Food Authority and includes the Chairperson;"


Chapter II

Section 4. Establishment of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

(1) The Central Government shall, by notification, establish a body to be known as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to, it under this Act.

(2) The Food Authority shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract and shall, by the said name, sue or be sued.

(3) The head office of the Food Authority shall be at Delhi.

(4) The Food Authority may establish its offices at any other place in India.

Section 5. Composition of Food Authority and qualifications for appointment of its Chairperson and other Members

(1) The F6od Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and the following twenty-two members out of which one-third shall be women, namely:--

(a) seven Members, not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government of India, to be appointed by the Central Government, to respectively represent the Ministries or Departments of the Central Government dealing with--

(i) Agriculture,

(ii) Commerce,

(iii) Consumer Affairs,

(iv) Food Processing,

(v) Health,

(vi) Legislative Affairs,

(vii) Small Scale Industries,

who shall be Members ex officio;

(b) two representatives from food industry of which one shall be from small scale industries;

(c) two representatives from consumer organisations;

(d) three eminent food technologists or scientists;

(e) five members to be appointed by rotation every three years, one each in seriatim from the Zones as specified in the First Schedule to represent the States and the Union territories;

(f) two persons to represent farmers' organisations;

(g) one person to represent retailers' organisations.

(2) The Chairperson and other Members of the Food Authority shall be appointed in such a manner so as to secure the highest standards of competence, broad range of relevant expertise, and shall represent, the broadest possible geographic distribution within the country.

(3) The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Central Government from amongst the persons of eminence in the field of food science or from amongst the persons from the administration who have been associated with the subject and is either holding or has held the position of not below the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.

1[(4) The Chairperson and the Members including part-time Members other than the ex officio Members of the Food Authority may be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendations of the Selection Committee.

(5) The Chairperson of the Food Authority shall not hold any other office.]

1. Substituted by the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Act, 2008 w.e.f. 7th day of February, 2008 for the following :-

"(4) The Chairperson and the Members other than ex officio Members of the Food Authority shall be appointed by the Central Government on the recommendations of the Selection Committee.

(5) The Chairperson or Members other than ex officio Members of the Food Authority shall not hold any other office."


Section 6. Selection Committee for selection of Chairperson and Members of Food Authority

(1) The Central Government shall, for the purpose of selection of the Chairperson and the Members other than ex officio Members of the Food Authority, constitute a Selection Committee consisting of--

(a) Cabinet Secretary--Chairperson,

(b) Secretary-in-charge of the Ministry or the Department responsible for administration of this Act as the convener--Member,

(c) Secretary-in-charge of the Ministries or the Departments of the Central Government dealing with Health, Legislative and Personnel--Members,

(d) Chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board--Member,

(e) An eminent food technologist to be nominated by the Central Government--Member.

Explanation.-- For the purposes of clause (e), the Central Government shall nominate a person from amongst persons holding the post of Director or the Head, by whatever name called, of any national research or technical institution.

(2) The Central Government shall, within two months from the date of occurrence of any vacancy by reason of death, resignation or removal of the Chairperson or a Member of the Food Authority and three months before the superannuation or completion of the term of office of the Chairperson or any Member of that Authority, make a reference to the Selection Committee for filling up of the vacancy.

(3) The Selection Committee shall finalise the selection of the Chairperson and Members of the Food Authority within two months from the date on which the reference is made to it.

(4) The Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two names for every vacancy referred to it.

(5) Before recommending any person for appointment as a Chairperson or other Member of the Food Authority, the Selection Committee shall satisfy itself that such person does not have any financial or other interest, which is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member.

(6) No appointment of the Chairperson or other Member of the Food Authority shall be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy in the Selection Committee.

Section 7. Term of office, salary, allowances and other conditions of service of Chairperson and Members of Food Authority

(1) The Chairperson and the members other than ex officio Members shall hold office for a term of three years from the date on which they enter upon their offices, and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of three years:

1[Provided that the Chairperson shall not hold office as such after he has attained the age of sixty-five Years.]

(2) The salary and allowances payable to, and the other terms and conditions of service of, the Chairperson and Members other than ex officio Members shall be such as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(3) The Chairperson and every Member shall, before entering upon his office, make and subscribe to an oath of office and of secrecy in such form and in such manner and before such authority as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Chairperson or any Member may--

(a) relinquish his office by giving in writing to the Central Government a notice of not less than three months; or

(b) be removed from his office in accordance with the provisions of section 8.

(5) The Chairperson or any Member ceasing to hold office as such shall not represent any person before the Food Authority or any State Authority in any manner.

_
1. Substituted by the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Act, 2008. w.e.f. 7th day of February, 2008 for the following :-

"Provided that no Chairperson or a member other than ex officio Member shall hold office as such after he has attained--

(a) in the case of the Chairperson, the age of sixty-five years, and

(b) in the case of a Member, the age of sixty-two years."


Section 8. Removal of Chairperson and Members of Food Authority

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) of section 7, the Central Government may, by order, remove from office the Chairperson or any other Member, if the Chairperson or as the case may be, such other Member,--

(a) has been adjudged an insolvent; or

(b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Central Government, involves moral turpitude; or

(c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a Member; or

(d) has acquired such financial or other interests as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as a Member; or

(e) has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest.

(2) No Member shall be removed under clauses (d) and (e) of sub-section (1) unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter.

Section 9. Officers and other employees of Food Authority

(1) There shall be a Chief Executive Officer of the Food Authority, not below the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India, who shall be the Member-Secretary of the Authority, to be appointed by the Central Government.

(2) The Food Authority may, with the approval of the Central Government, determine the number, nature and categories of other officers and employees required to the Food Authority in the discharge of its functions.

(3) The salaries and allowances payable to, and other conditions of service of, the Chief Executive Officer, officers and other employees shall be such as may be specified by regulations by the Food Authority with the approval of the Central Government.

Section 10. Functions of the Chief Executive Officer

(1) The Chief Executive Officer shall be the legal representative of the Food Authority and shall be responsible for--

(a) the day-to-day administration of the Food Authority;

(b) drawing up of proposal for the Food Authority's work programmes in consultation with the Central Advisory Committee;

(c) implementing the work programmes and the decisions adopted by the Food Authority;

(d) ensuring the provision of appropriate scientific, technical and administrative support for the Scientific Committee and the Scientific Panel;

(e) ensuring that the Food Authority carries out its tasks in accordance with the requirements of its users, in particular with regard to the adequacy of the services provided and the time taken;

(f) the preparation of the statement of revenue and expenditure and the execution of the budget of the Food Authority; and

(g) developing and maintaining contact with the Central Government, and for ensuring a regular dialogue with its relevant committees.

(2) Every year, the Chief Executive Officer shall submit to the Food Authority for approval--

(a) a general report covering all the activities of the Food Authority in the previous year;

(b) programmes of work;

(c) the annual accounts for the previous year; and

(d) the budget for the coming year.

(3) The Chief Executive Officer shall, following adoption by the Food Authority, forward the general report and the programmes to the Central Government and the State Governments and shall have them published.

(4) The Chief Executive Officer shall approve all financial expenditure of the Food Authority and report on the Authority's activities to the Central Government.

(5) The Chief Executive Officer shall exercise the powers of the Commissioner of Food Safety while dealing with matters relating to food safety of such articles.

(6) The Chief Executive Officer shall have administrative control over the officers and other employees of the Food Authority.

Section 11. Central Advisory Committee

(1) The Food Authority shall, by notification, establish a Committee to be known as the Central Advisory Committee.

(2) The Central Advisory Committee shall consist of two members each to represent the interests of food industry, agriculture, consumers, relevant research bodies and food laboratories, and all Commissioners of Food Safety, and the Chairperson of the Scientific Committee shall be ex officio member.

(3) The representatives of the concerned Ministries or Departments of the Central Government in Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Bio-technology, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Environment and Forests, Food Processing Industries, Health, Panchayati Raj, Small Scale Industries and Food and Public Distribution or government institutes or organisations and government recognised farmers' organisation shall be invitees to the deliberations of the Central Advisory Committee.

(4) The Chief Executive Officer shall be ex officio Chairperson of the Central Advisory Committee.

(5) The Central Advisory Committee shall follow such rules of procedure including its transaction of business as may be specified by regulations.

Section 12. Functions of Central Advisory Committee

(1) The Central Advisory Committee shall ensure close co-operation between the Food Authority and the enforcement agencies and organisations operating in the field of food.

(2) The Central Advisory Committee shall advise the Food Authority on--

(a) the performance of its duties under this section and in particular in drawing up of a proposal for the Food Authority's work programme,

(b) on the prioritisation of work,

(c) identifying potential risks,

(d) pooling of knowledge, and

(e) such other functions as may be specified by regulations.

(3) The Central Advisory Committee shall meet regularly at the invitation of the Chairperson of Central Advisory Committee or at the request of at least one-third of its members, and not less than three times a year.