The Regulatory Compliance Division of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as “FSSAI”), a statutory authority established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (“Act”), vide its order dated June 14, 2022 has directed e-commerce food business operators to display certain information in food service establishments (“Order”). The Order has been issued by regulatory authority of FSSAI pursuant to Regulation 9 of the FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2022 (“Labelling and Display Regulations”) which will come into force from July 1, 2022. The said Order shall be applicable on the food business operators who have annual gross revenues of over INR 20 (twenty) crores and have more than 10 (ten) licensed outlets by central authorities. Pursuant to this Order, the e-commerce food business operators are required to obtain the requisite information regarding nutritional value and allergen content from their respective food business operators and provide such information on their website and mobile application.
We have, hereinbelow, discussed in detail the compliance required to be undertaken by such e-commerce food business operators under the said Labelling and Display Regulations.
The Order has been issued by FSSAI under Regulation 9 of Labelling and Display Regulations which states that:
“Food Service Establishments having Central license or outlets at 10 or more locations shall mention the calorific value (in kcal per serving and serving size) against the food items display on the menu cards or boards or booklets and shall also provide information as specified under sub-regulation 5(3) such as nutritional information, allergen information, ingredient information and specific requirements prescribed under the provisions 1.1 (1), (2), (3), 1.4(3), (4) and 1.7 of schedule – II of the aforesaid regulations wherever applicable”.
As per the said regulation, online food delivery platforms will now have to do menu labelling with effect from July 1, 2022. Under menu labelling, the online food delivery platforms shall be required to ensure that calorific value, nutritional information along with allergen content and ingredient information are properly displayed against each and every pre-cooked food items listed on the platform.
Further, the Labelling and Display Regulations also states that the requisite nutritional information shall be obtained by online food delivery platforms from their respective food business operators. The said information shall be displayed by those food business operators who fall under the definition of ‘food business operators’ under the Act and Labelling and Display Regulations. As per the definition of ‘food business operator’, 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 compliances of the Act and requisite regulations.
Basis the same, all e-commerce food business operators shall now be required to enable provisions in their online platforms including mobile applications for display of nutritional value and allergen content as well as other specified requirements under the Labelling and Display Regulations to enable registered food business operators on respective platforms to feed and update such information against each and every food item offered for sale.
However, event caterers and food service premises that operate for less than 60 (sixty) days in a calendar year are exempted from the scope of Labelling and Display Regulations.
By implementation of the said Order, people will be able to know about the nutritional value and allergen content in the food that is being ordered by them. It will enable them to make informed choice while ordering the food online. In the packaged food, the content and other specific information is being displayed in the labels, however, in pre-cooked food, it is difficult to know about the nutritional value and allergen content. However, with this Order, people will now be able to know about the requisite information through menu labels.