The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India on Thursday said that restaurants, food retailers, caterers and sweetmeat shops will have to mention their FSSAI licence or registration number on cash receipts, purchase invoices, bills or cash memos from October 1.
Replying to emailed queries, an official spokesperson for FSSAI told BusinessLine, this detail will help consumers to file complaints, if needed, and will also help the authority monitor such complaints and track unlicensed businesses.
“This will also help concerned authorities to take prompt action against such Food businesses against whom a complaint has been received. Further, non-mentioning of FSSAI License/Registration number will indicate the non-compliance by the food businesses for not being licensed/registered by FSSAI,” the spokesperson added.
Sources said this order will also ensure smaller and unorganised players get registered as required under the Food Safety Act. Also, when any operator issues two transaction documents such as in case of transporters issuing transport challan/ bill etc and an invoice, then the FSSAI number needs to be mentioned on both documents. The only exemption will be the GST e-way bill and such other government documents which are system generated.
Minimum compliance costs
FSSAI in its order said that it also believes this move will create public pressure on non-licensed or non-registered players to seek licenses or registration. “Mentioning of FSSAI license or registration number (on bills and invoices) shall also improve the overall awareness of FSSAI. The requirement is expected to generate public demand and pressure for all Food Business Operators to seek FSSAI license/ registration,” the food safety authority stated.
Industry sources said that large organised retail chains and restaurant chains already mention their FSSAI licence number on their invoices. “The smaller grocery stores, restaurants and mithai shops will now need to ensure that they have FSSAI licence or registration number and it is mentioned on the inovices and bills,” an executive with a retail chain pointed out.
FSSAI added that it is taking this step by ensuring there will be minimum compliance costs for such food businesses. “No new transaction document is being mandated.
The policy seeks to leverage the existing commercial transaction practice and the regulatory requirement under tax laws.
Thus FSSAI seeks to maintain the minimum compliance cost and still have enhanced data dissemination and disclosure,” it added in its order.