FSSAI Directs Airlines To Ensure Proper Labelling Of Food

In response to several complaints raised about the poor quality of food served in flights, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a comprehensive advisory to Indian airlines, appealing them to maintain high food quality and ensure transparent labelling of all the edible items offered to passengers. 

The labelling of the products must display all kinds of key informations like expiry date and caterer’s name. The advisory mentioned that the flight kitchen operators along with in-flight food service providers must also adhere with the Food Safety and Standard Act and its regulations, including labelling norms.   

“The flight operators shall ensure that the passengers are well aware of the FSSAI license number of both the caterer/manufacturer as well as the flight operators. Basic details in case of prepared foods such as the name of the Caterer, FSSAI License number, Date and Time of packaging, and Use by Date and Time, shall be ensured on the packaging along with the other details as applicable as per FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020,” FSSAI said in its recent advisory. The airlines are also asked to inform passengers that any food-related grievances can be lodged on the Food Safety Connect App. 

The report said, “It has been observed that food is being prepared by Flight Kitchen Operators, which are caterers located in and around the vicinity of the airports , and then transferred through specialized vehicles like insulated refrigerated vans/wagons to the flights. In the flights, food is then served to passengers of that particular flight through the staff of the Airlines, which is inflight food services.” 

FSSAI has advised the flight kitchen operators to describe themselves as “food services (caterer)” in terms of “kind of business” in their license applications. The firms involved in storing and transporting food to the flights from flight kitchens are required to obtain a separate license. 

The regulator body has also clarified that airlines can get one FSSAI license for providing services all over India and need not take separate licenses in different states. However, they must describe themselves as “food services (caterer)” in terms of the “kind of business” in their description. The airlines that also sell pre-packaged food should also indicate themselves as “retailer” in the license”. “In case Airlines get their pre-packaged food products manufactured or imported under their brand name, they shall obtain an appropriate manufacturing License or Importer License,” said FSSAI.