It has been decided by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to make ‘BIS certification compulsory for food businesses engaged in ‘infant food trade’. The food regulator has taken the decision to make amendments on the prohibition and restriction on sales regulations and issued a draft called Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Amendment Regulations, 2021, which seeks mandatory ‘BIS certification’ for such trade.
The amendment read as follows, “No person shall manufacture, sell, store or exhibit for sale food for infant nutrition, except under Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Certification Mark, wherever BIS standards available.”
Comments have also been sought by the FSSAI from the stakeholders regarding this amendment.
Meanwhile, considering the request made by food businesses, decision has been taken to extend the time up to April 01, 2022 instead of the earlier date of July 01, 2021 in order to comply with the provisions of the Food for Infant Nutrition Regulations notified earlier in December 2020.
The reason that was provided for the same was the representations received by the food regulator from stakeholders who had sought for an extension for their compliance.
These regulations lay down the compositions of infant formula which is to be given to the infants during the first six months, in addition to infant food to be given to infants after six months of age up to to 24 months of age and Food for special medical purpose intended for infants.
Additionally, the regulation lays down the conformity requirements with respect to
various parameters being moisture, total protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins along with optional ingredients which are ordinarily found in human milk.
Apart from that, the regulation also prescribes food additives, emulsifiers, acidity regulators, which can be used in the preparation of the infant formula and mentions the labeling requirements for such food products.