Food license or FSSAI license is granted to all manufacturers, traders, restaurants carrying out any food business which may involve manufacturing or processing. On applying for FSSAI registration, and unique 14-digit licence number is issued which has to be quoted on all food packages. The license number is also required even if food products are not packaged.
There are three types of registrations / Food Licence
- State Licence
- Central Licence
FSSAI registration is mandatory for anyone involved in the food business. Be it food processing, food manufacturing, packaging, distributing, or selling, you need to get an FSSAI registration to run your business. The registration/licence is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), an institution that monitors food businesses under the guidelines and regulations listed in the FSSAI Act 2006.
From hawkers, home vendors to giant food chains everyone operating in the food industry needs to register with FSSAI. Irrespective of whether you are operating online or offline, or whether you are a local player or into the import or export of food products, you need to register with FSSAI. Based on their size and the places they operate, they have to get one of the 3 types of registration/licence that are discussed below.
If your business falls in any one of the below-listed categories, then a food licence is mandatory for you:
Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) is an upgraded version of the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS), which was established in 2012 for the issue of FSSAI Licenses and Registration across India.
If any person or food business operator (except the persons exempted from licensing under sub-section (2) of section 31 of this Act), himself or by any person on his behalf who is required to obtain licence, manufacturers, sells, stores or distributes or imports any article of food without licence, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.
The demand for home cooked or home made foods has lead to an increase in the number of Entrepreneurs getting into home bakery or home based food manufacturing. Under the FSSAI Act, it is mandatory to obtain FSSAI Registration if any person is manufacturing or producing food or edible products for sale. Thus, FSSAI registration is mandatory for home bakers and home kitchens. If a person operating a food based business from their home does not comply with the FSSAI Act, he or she may face penalties and legal trouble.
Once you obtain a FSSAI license or registration, you can display and use the FSSAI logo in your branding. Normally, the FSSAI logo is displayed by foods businesses and restaurants on their display boards, menu cards and brochures to publicize that the business is compliant under the FSSAI Act. Consumers regard the FSSAI logo as a mark of authenticity as well as assurance as to the basic quality of food and hygiene of the premises.