Food and Safety Guidelines by the FSSAI that All Restaurants Must Follow

Running a restaurant business is not an easy task. While sustaining the business is a plateful in itself, one must also not forget to abide by the rules and guidelines set up by the FSSAI. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has laid out certain guidelines that all restaurants and food establishments must follow. Industry bodies like FSSAI, Regional Municipal corporation body, sale tax and income tax bodies are continuously eyeing restaurants operations, and not complying with these guidelines can result in strict action against the restaurants, and also lead to them shutting down.

In our previous articles, we have discussed the impact of food licenses on the restaurant business and a small guide article on how to get the food licenses.  In this article, we present the checkpoints of operating restaurant business from the eye of FSSAI.

Checklist for Routine Inspection (Catering/ Food Service Establishments):

(1) Good Manufacturing Practices for the Whole Premise

a) Food Preparation AreasCooking and frying should be done under chimney having an appropriate suction capacity.

b) Hand washing facilities and toiletsRestaurant should have the adequate number of wash-hand basin fitted with taps for running hot and cold water.

c) Changing facilitiesProper facilities should be provided to the staff to change their clothes wherever necessary.

(2) Good Food Hygiene Practices                                                   

a) Cleaning- Working area and equipment/ utensils should be properly cleaned.

b) Water SupplyThere should be an adequate supply of potable water. The water should be examined chemically and bacteriologically by an NABL accredited laboratory.  Ice and steam wherever in use should be made from same portable water.

c) Raw Materials

Preparation of Fruits/ Vegetables

  • Uncooked, ready-to-eat fruits & vegetables should be treated before peeling in 50 ppm chlorinated water.
  • The equipment used for peeling/ cutting etc. of fruits & vegetables should be clean and of non-absorbent food grade materials.
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Preparation of Non-Veg. Product

  • Raw meat and processed meat should be kept separate from other food items.
  • The used surface should be cleaned properly with anti-bacterial agents.

d) Cooking

  • The preparation/ processing/ cooking should be adequate to eliminate and reduce hazards.
  • Cooking oil should not be repeatedly used for frying.

Food and Safety Guidelines by the FSSAI that Restaurants Must Follow

e) Chilling

Fridge and display units should be kept in good working condition and maintained at temperature 5 degree Celsius.

f) Cross-contamination

  • Raw food/ meat/ poultry and ready-to-eat foods should be kept separate.
  • Staff must be trained enough to avoid cross-contamination.

(3) Personal Hygiene

  • Food production personnel should be properly dressed in clean protective clothing, hair covering, footwear, gloves, facial mask etc.
  • Food production personnel should use disinfection and hand washing facilities whenever they enter or re-enter food processing areas and hand washing facilities to be equipped with the non-hand operated taps, liquid soaps, and disposable paper towels and covered waste bins.
  • Restriction to unhygienic practices such as eating, smoking, spitting, etc., within the food processing premises are adhered to and strictly enforced.

Food and Safety Guidelines by the FSSAI that Restaurants Must Follow

(4) Transportation and Handling of Food

  • Food vehicles should be internally lined with appropriate material and provided with suitable facilities.
  • Chilled/ frozen food products should be transported at appropriately regulated temperatures.
  • Vehicles should be clean, free from pest infestation and other contamination.
  • Separate food vehicle should be used for raw and finished products.

5) Storage

  • Adequate, well-designed storage rooms/ areas with appropriate storage facilities should be available and should be impervious to moisture, clean, free from pest infestation and well maintained.
  • Chemicals, detergents, and other cleaning materials should be stored in designated areas away from food items
  • Ingredients, intermediate and finished products should be stored and maintained at an appropriate temperature.
  • Ingredients, intermediate and finished products should be handled and stored in a manner to prevent damage, contamination, and spoilage.
  • Proper stock rotation (First-In-First-out) should be practiced to prevent deterioration and spoilage of raw materials and finished products.
  • Returned, defective or suspect products must be clearly identified and isolated in designated area or containers.
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6) Special Requirements for High-Risk Foods

a) Cut fruits/ salads, fresh juices, and beverages- Juice dispensing machine should be cleaned and free from contaminants.

b) Confectionary productsConfectionary products must be properly refrigerated with labels indicating the date of expiry.

c) Meat, poultry and fish products

  • Non-veg. Products must be washed with potable water.
  • Processing area should be clean and properly disinfected.

d) Water based chutneys, sauces etc.

  • Cleaned and disinfected chopping boards should be used.
  • Permitted food additives should be used as per recommended quantities; wherever necessary.
  • Sauces and chutneys must be stored in glass/ food grade plastic container with a proper lid.

e) Fried foods

  • Good quality/ branded oil/ fats should be used for preparation, frying etc.
  • Packaged oil must be used.
  • Oil should not be repeatedly used for deep frying.

7) Documentation and Records

  • Test report from own or NABL accredited/ FSSAI notified labs regarding microbiological contaminants in food items should be available all the time.
  • Records of daily production, the raw material utilized and sales should be maintained.
  • A periodic audit should be done of the whole system according to the Standard Operating Procedure conducted regarding Good Manufacturing Practices/ Good Hygienic Practices (GMP/ GHP) system.
  • Appropriate records of food processing/ preparation, food quality, laboratory test results, pest control etc. for a period of 1 year or the shelf life of the product; whichever is more.
  • Records of sale and purchase that the food product sold to registered/ licensed vendor and raw material purchased from registered/ licensed supplier.

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