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New FSSAI rules for food, grocery delivery apps

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued new guidelines and rules for food and grocery delivery apps like Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats, BigBasket and Grofers. The online food and grocery industry is currently the fastest-growing segment in online retail.food del

Earlier, following a series of complaints against the companies for listing sub-standard restaurants and for delivering low-quality food, the FSSAI had asked 10 such companies, including Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats, Foodpanda, and Lime Tray, to delist unlicensed restaurants.

This time, the concern is the last-mile delivery of food and related issues. Recently a video showed a Zomato employee eating out of food containers and then packing them back before delivery.

The six new rules are:

Anytime sampling: FSSAI may carry out sampling at any part of the supply chain to assess whether the food is fresh and of good quality.

Indicative images: Now it’s compulsory for companies to provide a clear, indicative picture of the food or product.

Mandatory information: The companies will have to mention all mandatory information as per the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) on their respective websites so that the consumer is fully informed.

Shelf life:The food product being delivered should have at least a remaining shelf life of 30% from the manufacturing date, or at least 45 days before the expiry, at the time of delivery.

Only fresh food:The new rule will ensure that the companies will focus more on delivering fresh food than stocking up to cut costs.

Trained professionals: The last-mile delivery should be undertaken by trained personnel so that the food products are not compromised in any way.

FSSAI’s chief executive officer, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, said: “With increasing use of e-commerce platforms by consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on safety of food provided to consumers.”

The top two food delivery companies, Swiggy and Zomato, have said they remain committed to maintaining the strictest of standards while making food deliveries and will cooperate with FSSAI in every way possible.

Sources: www.thenewsminute.com, trak.in, Economic Times, qz.com

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