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FSSAI notifies new food packaging norms, asks food businesses to comply with norms by July 1, 2019

Considering that the inks and dyes may lead to formation of Cancer, the norms also prohibit the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles.

Jan 4, 2019 14:00 IST
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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on January 3, 2019 notified the new food packaging regulations, replacing all provisions regarding the packaging requirements prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

While notifying the new packaging norms, the regulator asked food businesses to comply with new regulations by July 1, 2019.

The new regulations bar the use of recycled plastics and newspapers to wrap food articles.

Packaging regulations separated from labelling regulations

Taking into cognizance the importance of packaging in the food sector and its impact on food safety, the regulator FSSAI has separated the packaging regulations from the labelling regulations and a separate Scientific Panel for food packaging has been planned.

Key highlights of the new food packaging regulations

The regulations prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.

Considering that the inks and dyes may lead to formation of Cancer, the norms also prohibit the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles.

The new regulations also prescribe overall migration and specific migration limits of contaminants for plastic packaging materials.

It specifies the suggestive list of packaging materials to be used for different food product categories.

The regulations state respective Indian standard for printing inks for use on food packages.

The packaging materials used for packing or storing the food products should conform to the Indian standards provided in the schedules.

Importance of food packaging

  • Food packaging plays a vital role in keeping the food quality safe during its handling and transportation processes.
  • It helps protect the food contents from micro-biological, chemical, physical and atmospheric contamination, thereby protecting consumer’s health.
  • It protects foods against physical, chemical and environmental factors that could possibly contaminate food, if not packaged correctly.
  • Good packaging also ensures that there is no change in sensory properties or composition of food when packed.
  • Food packaging, done correctly, extends the shelf-life of food, thereby enhancing food security.

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