What Are The Penalties Under FSSAI Act?

FSSAI Penalties

FSSAI is the Food Standard and Safety Authority of India that is administered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The authority, as mentioned above, is responsible for ensuring proper implementation of the FSS Act that has been enforced upon many food-related businesses. The Food License provided by the FSSAI ensures that all the food-related manufacturers are strictly following the rules and regulations put forward during the working operation.

The FSSAI has provided all the food operators with a complete guide that contains the procedure they need to follow to obtain the license. Under FSSAI food license, if anyone fails to abide by the rules and regulations, then it is considered to be a punishable offence. These offences are mandatory to be followed by everyone under the Act.

The following is the list of categories made on the basis of income and business category for the process of FSSAI License:

  • FSSAI State License: This category includes a business that deals with an annual income ranging from Rs 12 Lac to Rs. 20 crores.
  • FSSAI Central License: Those businesses that obtain an annual income beyond Rs 20 Crore fall into this category.

The entity that suggests a suitable license depending upon which category the business falls into is known as the Food Business Operator (FBO). The major role of the FSSAI Act is to check for any offences that are committed by the food operators working in the Private Limited Company, Limited Company, One Person Company and decide on the penalties that they have to face.

Under the FSSAI act, all the food manufacturers who violate the rules and regulations are condemned to being guilty and legal charges are placed against them. In the case of a company having multiple branches, it is the Head Office who is considered to be responsible for these charges. Note that all the offences conducted under this Act are mandatory to be followed by everyone.

If the company is found to be responsible for the misconduct, then the Director, Administrator Secretary, Manager and other officials in charge are condemned to all the charges and punishment.

List of offences that are punishable under the FSSAI Act

1) The penalty due to Selling Food that is not of demanded quality / Substance / Nature

Those who are found selling food items that are not manufactured as per the provisions of the FSSAI act and the rules and regulations put forward by it or is not of the quality or substance as demanded by the Purchaser then it is mandatory for the company to pay a penalty that does not exceed more than Rs 5 Lac. In case if the person is guilty under subsection 2 of section 31, then that person is liable to pay a fine not exceeding Rs 25,000.

2) The penalty related to Substandard Food

If any person by themselves or through another person either manufactures, stores, sells, imports or distributes any food item for human consumption that is considered to fall under substandard category would be liable to pay a penalty which may come to about Rs 5 Lac.

3) The penalty in case of Misbranded Food

  • If any person by themselves or through another person either manufactures, stores, sells, imports or distributes any food item for human consumption that is considered to fall under substandard category would be liable to pay a penalty which may come to about Rs 3 Lac.
  • In situations wherein a person is found guilty under this Act, the Adjudicating Officer becomes highly eligible to issue a corrective action to either destroy such food items or to rectify the mistake by imposing some punishments.

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4) The penalty due to Misleading Advertisement

Any person who is either involved in publishing or is in confederation with the publication with respect to an advertisement that:

  • Is involved in describing food in a deceitful manner.
  • Is likely to mislead the customers with respect to the substance, quality or the nature of the food and is liable to pay a penalty of up to 10 Lac.

In case of the above two situations, even if the advertisement or label representing about a food item that is found to be violating the laws has a precise statement of the composition of the food, yet this will not help in stopping the authorities from finding the reasons for violation of the provisions of the Act. Note that irrespective of any particular reasons, offences under the Act has to be compulsorily followed by all.

5) Penalty for food containing Extraneous matter

If any person by themselves or through another person either manufactures, stores, sells, imports or distributes any food item for human consumption that is considered to fall under substandard category would be liable to pay a penalty which may come to about Rs 5 Lac.

6) Penalty for running a business without a license

With the exception of those business owners who have been exempted from the scheme of licenses under the subsection 2 of section 31, any food business operator either through someone else or by himself operates the business without a valid license issued under the FSSAI act will be mandated to pay a fine of up to Rs 5 Lac along with imprisonment of up to 6 months.

7) The penalty due to the Failure to comply with directions given by the Food Safety Owner

If any operator of a food business fails to comply with the rules and regulations prescribed the food safety owner or the FSS act, then the penalty for this offence reaches to up-to Rs 2 Lac.

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8) Penalty for possessing Adulterant

If any person either by himself or through some other person acting on behalf of him involved in distribution, import, selling or storing food items involving adulteration are liable to:

  • Pay a fine of Rs 2 Lac if the Adulterant is not that harmful to human health.
  • Pay a fine of up to Rs 10 Lac if the Adulterant used is harmful to human health.

Conclusion

FSSAI is, thus, the most important regulator of food standards. Anybody indulged in the food business, whether he is an FBO or food vendor has to take care of all such norms or is liable to face heavy penalties.

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