FSSAI license number is now a must on all restaurant bills.

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In a huge boon to Indian foodies, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) announced that all food businesses will be required to include their FSSAI license and registration number on all bills, cash receipts, and purchase invoices.

Originally set to be enforced from Oct 1, 2021, the FSSAI has decided to extend the timeline to January 1, 2022, after receiving representations from various industry associations and stakeholders on the issue.

The intention of this mandate is to facilitate the customers to file complaints easily in case of any grievance with a particular Food Business operator.

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In June, the FSSAI had acknowledged that while the FSSAI license and registration number was made compulsory on packaged food products, adherence was an important issue in the case of restaurants and retail stores.

Stating that the food business ecosystem in India is large, the regulator said the FSSAI number of any food business operator is not “easily visible and available on consumer/service recipient.”

If the FSSAI number is not available to consumers, expecting a complaint with all the relevant details in hand is an uphill task.

Even official regulators find it very difficult to trace the origin of a complaint and attend to the grievance promptly, it said. No database can be created without a unique locator code, which in the case of food safety is the FSSAI number.

Presently there does exist a deficit of track and trace mechanisms whereby the path of the package from a manufacturer to the consumer can be traced. Thus, mentioning the registration number will definitely help in improving traceability for food products.

Public Pressure

FSSAI has said that this regulatory move will create public pressure on non-licensed/non-registered players to seek licenses and registration accordingly.

Highlighting the FSSAI license and registration number (on bills and invoices) will also improve the overall awareness of the FSSAI. This stipulated requirement is expected to generate public demand as well as public pressure on all Food Business Operators to seek FSSAI license/registration promptly.

Industry experts also confirmed that this mandate will push smaller and unorganized players to ensure they have an FSSAI license and registration.

Benefits for the Consumer

With the FSSAI number, a consumer shall have access to the entire information about FBO which is publicly available on the FSSAI portal.

To access such information, a consumer can simply visit the FSSAI portal or the Food Safety Connect app. Information about the FSSAI license can be access by entering the 14-digit FSSAI registration number.

A consumer can lodge an online complaint against any FBO using the FSSAI Number. It is easy for the regulatory authority to trace the business unit and resolve the issue.

The general public is aware of GST numbers since the same is mentioned on all the invoices.
Similarly, mentioning FSSAI on invoices and receipts will spread awareness among consumers about FSSAI and if the same is not mentioned, it will indicate non-compliance on the part of the Food Business Operator.

The new change aims at solving the various obstacles faced by consumers in locating and tracking the FSSAI number of a particular business. It is also believed that these steps will help regulators to trace the origin of the complaint and attend to it in a prompt and timely manner.

It is hoped that these changes will enable consumers to file complaints easily and also help the authorities concerned to take prompt action against food businesses.

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