The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has seeked out suggestions from stakeholders of food service establishments regarding the display of information on menu labels. A draft notice has been issued urging them to give out their suggestions.
Under the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, in Regulation 2.4 related to Specific Requirements/ Restrictions, on the manner of labeling, a new clause, namely Display of information in food service establishments, should be added according to the draft that has been issued, reports the publication.
“Food service establishments having a Central license or outlets at 20 or more locations shall display the calorific value of each food item sold by them on their menu cards or boards. Additionally, reference information on the requirements of 2,000Kcal energy for an average adult per day shall also be displayed clearly and prominently,” is what is stated in the clause.
The food service establishment should display information, including any warning or statutory declarations required under the regulations, information relating to allergens in the food, logo for vegetarian or non-vegetarian food, information relating to gluten-free and low gluten status in food and information relating to organic food or ingredients, at the point of sale or service of the food.
Apart from food service establishments, the draft also covers e-commerce food business operators (FBOs) who have been instructed to provide all the information on their menu links with every food service establishment that are a part of their platform.
These provisions, however, will not be applicable to self-serve condiments that are free of charge and not listed on the menu, event caterers and food service premises that operate for less than 60 days in a calendar year, either consecutively or non-consecutively; and specially-ordered items or modified meals and menu items that are given according to the customers’ requests.
The clause also directs food service establishments to keep in handwritten nutritional information on the food items they sell, either as booklets, handouts or on their website. This shall be provided to consumers upon request.