A Critical Study on Offences by the companies under food safety and standards act 2006

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Critical Study on Offences under food safety and standards act 2006

Written By: Dhimaan Dutta

To understand this let’s first know what this act is about. An Act to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The main responsibilities for all food businesses under the Act are to ensure that: businesses do not include anything in food, remove anything from food or treat food in any way which means it would be damaging to the health of people eating it.

The Nestle Maggi case- The overview

So, let’s begin with the case of Nestle Maggi noodles.

The Indian State called for a ban on Nestle’s Maggi on May 21, 2015, stating it has many harmful substances. The Uttar Pradesh govt. after sending some samples to FSSAI for sampling, a statement was made. But this obviously had a contradiction from nestle’s side, and they totally denied this accusation. They made a clear-cut statement that none of their products were harmful and ordered not to recall any product. A statement on their website said that “The quality and safety of our products are the top priorities for our Company.

We have in place strict food safety and quality controls at our Maggi factories… We do not add MSG to Maggi Noodles, and glutamate, if present, may come from naturally occurring sources. We are surprised with the content supposedly found in the sample as we monitor the lead content regularly as a part of the regulatory requirements.” After this, Maggie noodles continued to keep its customers up to date about the investigation. Nestle used many social media platforms to keep its customers together and not lose their trust.

After assuring customers that its noodles are safe, the company reverses course and recalls Maggi noodles made in India. CEO Paul Bulcke spoke to the media and said that “We are working with authorities to clarify the situation and in the meantime, Nestlé will be withdrawing Maggi noodles from shelves.” After the first findings of MSG were detected in Uttar Pradesh, many states started the tracing of MSGs in the MAGGI. Later in April 2015, the government referral in Kolkata also found a lead that was not under the consumable permit.

On 16th June Nestle gave an unpredictable statement. After being declared hazardous by authorities, Nestlé chose to trash more than $50 million worth of Maggi Noodles in India. Maggi noodles have been tested in various areas of the world following the food safety issue in India to convince consumers that they are safe. The levels of lead in the noodles tested in the UK were determined to be within EU guidelines. Canada approved Maggi noodles as safe shortly after the UK results were released. After this Nestle India recorded its first-ever quarterly loss in the past 17 years.

Nestle’s Response

Nestle after seeing such huge outrage went to the Bombay High Court and asked for a Judicial review of the same. The court granted, and then Nestle India was told to send some of their samples to 3 different accredited laboratories. Till the response of these laboratories, Nestle was ordered not to sell or manufacture any of the Maggi. After the laboratories give clearance to the packets and diagnose the old packets with the new packets. If at all any traces are found then Nestle would not be allowed to produce the same packets. The court did not lift the ban till the clearance from the accredited laboratories came.

The Comeback

Surprisingly, even after the Maggi was outlawed, it refused to abandon its customers. The company maintained an active social media presence, using different social media postings and advertising to keep in touch with its target demographic. They continued promoting on their Facebook page that their (consumers’) favorite meal would be safe to eat very soon. There was a dedicated group of consumers who believed in Maggi and would periodically post on social media about how much they wished for the return of their beloved Maggi noodles. Nestle also responded by launching an advertisement, that how they were to missing their consumers.

For consumers, relevant questions, hotline lines, and FAQs were constantly on different social media pages. Nestlé started its WELCOME BACK campaign in November 2015, after receiving approval from India’s food regulatory body (FSSAI). It was an emotive ad that captured the hearts of its consumers. They even introduced 15 new Maggi varieties. They partnered with e-commerce behemoths and began selling welcome kits with 12 Maggi packets. The response was overwhelming; in only 5 minutes following the debut, Snapdeal, the then-e-commerce startup, sold 60,000 Maggi kits.

Companies towards employees

In today’s world companies are do look towards the food and safety standards of their employees. Because no one wants to lose its original employees, who are already there for time being and already know what the objectives of companies are! The new employees require a lot of work and development. First, they require training, then the HR needs to be activated again, the expenditure of money also increases. The new employees need to be aware of the strategies, objectives, plans, and goals of the company. So, this recruiting process is a whole lot of a new beginning in this aspect.

Companies towards customers

After all, a company can run only from their customer’s trust. The food business uses the phrase “food control” to refer to a wide range of issues, including:

  1. Safety – establishing standards for toxicological and microbiological risks, as well as processes and activities to guarantee that the requirements are met.
  2. Quality – delivering sensory qualities such as flavour, fragrance, palatability, and appearance
  3. Nutrition – preserving nutrient levels in food components and developing foods with nutritional profiles that contribute to customer interest in healthy diets
  4. Value – offering features such as convenience, packaging, and shelf-life that provide customer utility and economic advantage. Some of these elements, such as value, are solely the responsibility of business and customers, while others, such as safety, are shared by government, industry, and consumers.

Setting and implementation of food standards

The establishment of safety, quality, and labeling standards are at the heart of all food control activities. In acknowledgment of the fact that food production and marketing is really a global sector, these should be developed on the largest feasible scale. It’s critical for governments to enable businesses, scientists, and the general public to contribute information and ideas when developing safety standards. Standards and standards should be adaptable enough to accommodate evolving technologies.

Governments should, at the same time, implement measures that ensure actual and substantial safety advantages, rather than simply perceived safety gains. Controlling food safety and quality involves a wide range of issues, and governments must choose carefully which sectors to regulate. Quality, in particular, refers to food characteristics that are more concerned with the market than with public health. Governments should concentrate their efforts and resources on public health elements of quality as well as market-related aspects of quality and labeling that protect consumers from deception and false promises.

Effort of the industry to ensure the quality of the products for consumers.

Food industry management needs an organized means of identifying and regulating the interactions between essential elements in the whole food supply chain, including product conception, production, and distribution, as well as customer satisfaction, in order to deliver safe goods. The creation, coordination, and implementation of a number of actions aimed at maintaining and/or enhancing the safety and quality of products is referred to as quality assurance. It starts with the conception of the product and continues with the selection and purchase of raw materials, as well as the processing, packaging, distribution, and marketing of the product. The use of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) methodologies, which the food industry created and has voluntarily embraced on a large scale over the past 20 years, is emphasized in today’s quality assurance programs. There are numerous components to this strategy:

  • identifying the critical control points; establishing critical limits for each control point
  • establishing monitoring procedures
  • establishing corrective action procedures
  • establishing verification procedures to ensure that corrective steps have been taken
  • conducting a hazard analysis to identify hazards and the needed controls
  • conducting a hazard analysis to identify hazards and the needed controls
  • conducting a hazard analysis to identify hazards and the needed controls
  • conducting a hazard analysis to identify hazards and the needed controls
  • conducting a hazard analysis to identify hazards

Conclusion

A range of food safety problems, such as pathogenic microorganisms, allergies, genetically modified foods, pollutants (including pesticides), irradiation, and nutrition labeling, is now being contested at the national and international levels. These are significant and difficult issues that need to be addressed. Control concerns are at various stages of resolution, and it will take a significant amount of work to handle them in a scientific, practical, and consistent manner. Through involvement in the standard-setting process and debates on scientific and technological problems, the industry understands that consumers play an active and vital role in the food control process. International organizations like the Codex Alimentarius Commission can help with understanding the challenges and developing sensible guidelines.

Because of its strong interest in food safety and marketing, the food sector plays a critical role in resolving these food control challenges. Furthermore, the food sector can make significant contributions to their comprehension and resolution due to its considerable scientific and technological resources and expertise with these challenges. Finally, the food industry’s communications capabilities can help the public comprehend the complicated nature of the numerous challenges that occur for the same reasons. Clearly, food management raises a slew of difficulties. Some are extremely technical, while others are a mix of technology and political issues. The common objective should be to address these issues in a way that considers the requirements of governments, consumers, and businesses. For governments, enforceable standards that are compelling to both consumers and industry are required.

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Keywords

food safety and standards act 2006, food safety, standards


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