Ministry of Health and Welfare vide notification dated October 08, 2018 has brought in the draft Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Regulations, 2018 (“2018 Regulation”) for public comments and suggestion. The 2018 Regulation intends to bring about an insertion in Regulation 2.4, after sub-regulation 2.4.4 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Keeping in mind the increasing health awareness among the public toward the food intake and calories count, duty of display of various relevant information has been imposed on the food service establishments.
The 2018 Regulation states that all food service establishments (“establishment”) having central license or outlets at 10 or more locations shall display calorific value of each of the food items sold by them on their menu cards or boards. Further, the establishment are also required to display the reference information on the requirements of 2000 Kcal energy for an average adult per day.
Further, the establishments are also required to ensure display of the following information at the point of sale or service of the food:
- any warning/gluten free and low gluten status in food; and
- information relating to statutory declarations required under these regulations;
- information relating to allergens in the food;
- logo for veg or non-veg;
- Information relating to organic food or ingredients.
The duty for display of the abovementioned information has not been restricted only to the brick and mortar outlets but has also been extended to e-commerce food business operators. Further, the establishments along with the e-commerce business operators are also required to keep written nutritional information on the food items sold by them in the form of booklets or handouts or on their website. Such nutritional information shall be made readily available to the customers as and when requested from their end.
It is pertinent to note that the abovementioned display duty is not applicable on event caterers and food service premises that operate for less than 60 days in a calendar year, self-serve condiments that are free of charge and not listed on the menu and special-order items or modified meals and menu items as per customer’s request.