Additional educational requirements, powers and duties of Designated Officers, Food Officers and Analysts introduced vide Food Safety and Standards (First Amendment) Rules, 2022

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

On 20-01-2023, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare notified the Food Safety and Standards (First Amendment) Rules, 2022, to further amend Food Safety and Standards Rules 2011.

Key points:

  1. Sub-rule 2.1.2 clause 1 has been substituted which talks about Designated Officer wherein the requirement of educational qualification has been added. Along with the earlier qualifications such officer should also possess:

    • A Bachelor's or Master's or Doctorate degree in Science with chemistry as one of the subjects or at least one of the educational qualifications prescribed for the Food Safety Officers under these rules.

    • Or he should possess not less than five years of experience as a Food Safety Officer or not less than seven years combined experience as a Food Safety Officer and food Inspector, of which a minimum of four years as a Food Safety Officer after commencement of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

  2. In sub- rule 2.1.3, clause (dd) has been inserted which deals with powers and duties of food safety officer. It says that the examination of labels of articles of food will be sent for analysis in accordance with the requirement of labelling, advertising and claims as specified in the regulations made under the Food Safety and Standards Act . The report of non-compliance is required to be sent to the Designated officer for scrutiny if the food isn't up to mark.

  3. Sub- rule 2.1.4 has also been substituted which deals with the Food Analyst and his qualifications. Earlier, only the holders of Masters degree were allowed but now a bachelor or a doctorate holding a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry or Microbiology or Dairy Chemistry or Agriculture Science or Animal Science or Fisheries Science or Biotechnology or Food Safety or Food Technology, Food and Nutrition or Dairy Technology or Oil Technology or Veterinary Sciences are allowed to hold such positions.

  4. In Rule 2.4 which deals in Sampling and Analysis, Clause 7 (a) has been inserted which directs to mask all information relating to Food Business Operator in the label of the sample, including brand or trade name and bar code suitably and provide a code number.

  5. Under the heading “Sampling and Analysis” a new proviso has been inserted stating that in case of samples to be drawn for microbiological analysis, surveillance, import clearance, investigation of complaint and food safety emergency response, the requirement of four parts of samples shall not apply, and following requirements for the number of samples should be followed:

    • For microbiological analysis: Appendix B of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.

    • Surveillance: As per the surveillance plan by the Food Authority or State Food Authority

    • Import clearance: As per Food Safety and Standards (Food import) Regulation, 2017

    • Food safety emergency incidents: Less than the mandated number of parts of the sample subject to reasons along with the evidence to be recorded in writing.

    • Any other cases: Less than the mandated number of parts of the sample subject to reasons along with the evidence to be recorded in writing.

  6. According to a new insertion in sub rule 2.4.6 relating to Designated Officer of clause 3 the certificate of analysis in Form XI has to be duly signed by the Director of the Referral Laboratory and it should be forwarded within fourteen days of receipt of the sample. In case the Referral Laboratory is unable to analyse the sample within fourteen days of its receipt, the Referral Laboratory will have to inform the Designated Officer and the Commissioner of Food Safety giving reasons and specifying the time to be taken for analysis.

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