FSSAI all set to become a well- oiled Food Regulator

The regulator has a slew of regulations ready for food safety compliance from March, 2019

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New Delhi: From March 3 onwards, restaurants and eateries would be guilty of violating food safety regulation if they reuse cooking oil more than three times as per circular issued in February by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). This regulation will go a long way in ensuring food safety in the country. Food being crucial aspect of health, the need for a well oiled food regulator was long overdue.

Not long ago, a parliamentary Standing Committee on health and family welfare in a report submitted previous year gave FSSAI thumbs down over lax enforcement of food safety laws. The rap seems to have sunk in on food regulator as evidenced by its actions in the aftermath. The regulator has a slew of other regulations up its sleeve that is expected to entail a safe food ecosystem in the country.

A circular released by FSSAI says that from March 3 onwards Restaurants and eateries will no longer be allowed to reuse cooking oil more than three times. The regulator has underlined that repeated frying of oil leads to changes in edible oil that makes it unfit for consumption.

On repeated frying, the oil turns too acidic and become unsafe for consumption after a certain point. Reusing oil multiple times, compounds called Total Polar Compounds (TPC) are formed and a high rate of TPCs has deleterious effect on health. Hypertension, liver disease, increased cholesterol and atherosclerosis are some of the health risks posed by consuming such oil. The rule prohibits them from using the same batch of cooking oil for more than three times.

FSSAI has notified Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in each state to ensure that all eateries which use more than 50 litres of oil per day comply with the rule from March 1.

All new quality standards are in place and FSSAI seems intent on enforcing them in true spirit. Pawan Aggarwal, CEO, FSSAI said in an interaction that the focus of the regulator now would be on compliance, monitoring, inspection and enforcement. Some of the key regulations include the ones on alcoholic beverages, food fortifications, advertising and claims, packaging, residues of pesticides and tolerance limits of antibiotics.

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