FSSAI operationalises milk & products standards

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in a recent development, has operationalised standards bringing a comprehensive range of milk and milk products under regulation. A notification issued in this regard also dwells into details like pasteurisation, composition and labelling. A statement released by FSSAI states that this was done to revise all existing milk and milk product standards and harmonise them with the internationally acceptable norms – Codex. FSSAI added that a large number of stakeholders’ comments were taken into consideration for finalising these standards. The standards were made operational on August 2, 2017. Reacting to the development, some experts have opined that the new standards are not only comprehensive but better, as earlier standards for some products were over-rated. For instance, unlike earlier, new standards for cow milk are harmonised with the actual composition of cow milk that farmers get. This is a marked shift as it will encourage farmers to sell cow’s milk as it is, without changing any of its aspects. Even packaging and labelling requirements have been improved to protect consumers under the new standards. Under the Labelling norms, the notification says that for pre-packaged milk or otherwise, if the milk is not pre-packaged and is offered for sale to the consumer, such declaration shall be given on the container from which milk is offered for sale to the consumer. All in all, according to the General Principles under the notification, foods shall be described or presented in such a manner as to ensure the correct use of dairy terms intended for milk and milk products, to protect consumers from being confused or misled and to ensure fair practices in the food trade.