Context: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has recommended the inclusion of QR code on food products for accessibility by visually impaired individuals under its Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2020.
About QR Code on Food Labels to help visually disabled
- The information on food labels includes product name, shelf life, nutrition facts, vegetarian/non-vegetarian logos, ingredient lists, allergen warnings, and other product specific labelling requirements.
- This information aims to help consumers make informed food choices and ensure safe food access for all, including individuals with special needs like the visually impaired.
- It will also provide inclusive access to information, guaranteed by Article 19 as a fundamental right of citizens.
- Furthermore, this will complement The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, which acknowledges the needs and rights of people with disabilities and places a strong emphasis on accessibility and the promotion of their health.
About Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2020
- The regulations prescribe the labelling requirements of pre-packed foods and display essential information about premises where food is manufactured, processed, served, and stored.
- The non-veg symbol shall consist of a brown colour-filled triangle inside a square with a brown outline having sides not less than the minimum size specified in the regulation.
- Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is mandatory to be displayed on the label.
- Mandatory declaration of allergen information.
- Some new logos were established to identify foods with different categories, such as for Fortified Foods, organic foods.
- E-commerce platforms are required to provide for mandatory labelling of food products offered for sale through their platform with certain exceptions.
- Also included restaurant operators with large networks of chains within its scope.
Body: Statutory body under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.
Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Replaced various acts: Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Fruit Products Order, 1955, Meat Food Products Order, 1973, Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947, Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order 1988, Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc. were repealed after commencement of FSS Act, 2006.
Appointment of chairperson and CEO: By Government of India.
Objective: Responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.