The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Welfare. To start a restaurant in India, you need to first procure the FSSAI license. It is of utmost importance for restaurants to comply with the guidelines set by FSSAI. Non-compliance with these guidelines may even lead to the closure of your restaurant.
General requirements – It is mandatory to display the licenses, notices, and certificates. The restaurants should be knowledgeable about food handling practices. Based on the type of food, the food safety messages should also be displayed.
Raw materials – Procure raw materials from reliable dealers. Before purchasing the item, check for visible deterioration, off odor, and signs of thawing foreign body contamination. Raw materials must be used based on FIFO (First In First Out), FEFO (First Expired First Out), and FMFO (First Manufactured First Out).
Water and Ice – Restaurants must use safe water, i.e., water free from any contamination, pollutants, or chemical hazards.
Formulations – For food items with high levels of salt, sugar, acid, or low moisture, there are particular guidelines. In the case of possible allergens like milk, egg, fish, nuts, etc. customers should be informed by displaying the ingredients.
Preparation and processing – Follow preparation methods to ensure that there is no re-contamination of food. Keep vegetarian and non-vegetarian food separately while storing and all through the cooking process. Another important guideline is that cooking oil must not be reused.
Transportation, handling, and storage of prepared food – The vehicle used for the transportation of cooked food must be clean and dedicated for this purpose. Keep the delivery time minimal and temperature constant so that microbial proliferation can be prevented.
Personal hygiene – Employees must never handle food when they are infected. The food handlers should stay away from wearing hazardous materials like jewelry or other physical hazards like bandages. It is mandatory to use clean clothing, hairnets, and gloves.
Vending or selling units, equipment, and utensils – To prevent any microbial build-up, all food equipment should be cleaned and sanitized.
Requirements at the area of sale – The point of sale must be devoid of all human and animal waste. Disposable gloves must be used only once.
Environment and surroundings – The area of food preparation and selling point must be clean and dry. There should be proper provision for ventilation. It should be an airy atmosphere and not a damp place.
Waste disposal and pest control – Different waste bins must be installed for separating biodegradable, non-biodegradable, liquid, and solid kitchen wastes.
High-risk food – For high-risk food items like confectionery, dairy products, chutneys, sauces, raw meat, etc. there are separate guidelines.
Be legally compliant and follow the above FSSAI guidelines to ensure the smooth functioning of your restaurant.