The rule for licence also applies to those establishments, including religious places, where food is not charged. However, petty manufacturers, retailers and hawkers, among others, are exempt from this.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said it will first ask states to run a special drive to create awareness among food business operators about the compulsory requirement of licences. “I am told that 30-40 per cent of our restaurants and hotels do not have FSSAI licences. If this is the law of the land, is it acceptable?” he asked at a FICCI conference on food service retail ‘Foodzania 2017’ here.
Stating that there is some confusion in businesses on whether the FSSAI licence is mandatory, Agarwal made it clear that it is compulsory for all food businesses and non- compliance is not justified. “Since there is still some confusion, we are asking state governments to take up a special drive. After the time period for that is over, we are advising them to seal and close all such units across the country if they fail to take FSSAI licences,” he said.
FSSAI Enforcement Director, Agarwal said, has been tasked with ensuring 100 per cent licensing of restaurants and hotels in the next three months. He made it clear that there will be “no comprise at all”.