Tamil Nadu

Food business operators to face stiff fines

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Designated Officers of Food Safety Dept. can impose a penalty up to ₹25,000 for offences

Designated Officers (DO) of the Food Safety Department can now impose a penalty of up to ₹25,000 on food business operators (FBO) falling under the registration category for offences such as food containing extraneous matter, failure to comply with directions of the Food Safety Officer, usage of non-foodgrade plastics, unhygienic processing or manufacturing of food and sale/possession of banned food items.

Officials said that there were two categories — licensing for FBOs with an annual turnover of above ₹12 lakh and registration for FBOs, whose annual turnover does not exceed ₹ 12 lakh — under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Now, the State government is implementing Section 69 of the Act, conferring powers on the Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration to empower the DOs to compound offences committed or any contravention of the provision of the Act for effective implementation of the Act.

Types of FBOs

The types of FBOs are petty manufacturers, petty retailers, hawkers, itinerant vendor or temporary stall holder in social gatherings, milk FBO handling up to 500 litres per day, FBOs with slaughtering capacity of two large animals or 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds a day, all FBOs eligible for registration, but running business without registration certificate, all FBOs found selling banned food items and seized banned food items less than the sample quantity in their premises and FBOs selling or using non-food grade plastic or plastics not permitted by the Act for food packing or serving, a press release said.

For instance, if a food business is operating without registration or has improper labelling and substandard food quality, DOs would immediately issue notice and grant one week to 10 days time for rectification. If not, a spot fine would be levied, and the FBO has to pay it in the treasury, an official also said.

No penalty would be collected in cash at the office of the DO. If the FBO does not pay the penalty within the stipulated time, the DO can suspend the registration certificate until payment of the penalty.

The highest amount of ₹25,000 would be the penalty for third time offence for FBOs found selling/possessing of banned food items.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 6:19:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/food-business-operators-to-face-stiff-fines/article30153854.ece

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