The FSSAI has released an order announcing the extension of the tenure of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies for a trimester from 1st May 1 to 31st July, 2021.

These hygiene rating agencies were recognized by the apex regulator for validation of Hygiene Rating of Food Establishments.

11 such agencies have been granted this extension in total.

The order issued by FSSAI states- “Keeping in view the challenges being faced by the industry due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Competent Authority has decided to further extend the validity of Hygiene Rating Audit Agencies (HRAAs) for a further period of three months w.e.f. 01.05.2021 (i.e from 01.05.2021 to 31.07.2021).”

The agencies which have receive the extension include- Azad Agro Enterprises, Centre for Public Health and Food Safety, Conformity India International Pvt Ltd., Equinox Labs Pvt. Ltd, Food Safety Services, FSATO Inspection Services, Green Tick Food Tech Pvt. Ltd, NXG Food Safety Works Pvt. Ltd., Parikshan, QSCERT Solutions LLP, and Shree Analytical Testing & Research Laboratory.

Hygiene Rating Scheme is a certification system for the food service and retail establishments which provide food directly to the consumers. The food businesses are given ratings on the basis of food hygiene and safety conditions observed at the time of audit/inspection. The hygiene rating certificate will be exhibited prominently in the food service area to create demand of high levels of food hygiene standards.

Ashwin Bhadri, CEO of Equinox Labs, apprises that hygiene rating concept promotes safety and nutritious quality of food ensuring consumers safety as good hygiene protocols must be considered into minimizing possible microbial contaminations of food.

An official with FSSAI stated that an expression of interest was floated in September 2018 for the empanelment of agencies as hygiene rating agencies for authentication of food establishment enrolling for hygiene rating scheme of FSSAI.

These agencies were recognized for a period of three years until 16th Oct, 2020, and depending on the request received, the tenure of 12 agencies was extended until 30th April, 2021.

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