National – PFA Essential Commodites Act (FPO, MPO etc.): Food Laws and Regulations

The Essential Commodities Act is an act of Parliament of India which was established to ensure the delivery of certain commodities or products, the supply of which if obstructed owing to hoarding or black marketing would affect the normal life of the people. This includes foodstuff, drugs, fuel (petroleum products) etc.

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) ACT, 1954

PFA is directly concerned with the protection of the health of consumers, and the quality of food products marketed. PFA states that article of food shall be deemed to be adulterated: –

(a) If the article sold by a vendor is not of nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser & is to his prejudice or is not of nature, substance or quality which it should be.

(b)  If the article contains any other substance which affects, or if the article is so processed as to affect injuriously nature, substance or quality thereof.

(c)  If any inferior or cheaper substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article so as to affect injuriously nature, substance or quality thereof.

(d)  If any constituent of the article has wholly or in part been abstracted so as to affect injuriously nature, substance or quality thereof.

(e)  If the article has been prepared, baked or kept under insanitary conditions whereby it has become contaminated or injurious to health.

(f)  If the article consists wholly or in part of any filthy, putrid, disgusting, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance or is insect-infested or otherwise unfit for human consumption.

(g)  If the article is obtained from a diseased animal.

(h)  If the article contains any poisonous or other ingredients which render it injurious to health.

(i)  If the container of the article is composed, whether wholly or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which renders the contents injurious to health.

(j)  If any colouring matter other than that prescribed in respect thereof and in amounts, not within the prescribed limits of variability is present in the article.

(k)  If the article contains any prohibited preservative or permitted preservative in excess of the prescribed limits.

(l)  If the quality or purity of the article fall below the prescribed standards or its constituents are present in quantities which are in excess of the prescribed limits of variability.

The PFA act, 1954 thus lays down the guidelines for setting up standards for various food items like cereals & cereal products, pulses, ghee etc. All processed items which are mass produced for public use expected to conform to these standards. The penalty for adulteration that is injurious to health involves a minimum punishment of 1 year in jail and fine of 2000/- extendable to 6 years and a higher fine as fixed by the court. Adulteration which is not injurious to health is punishable by 6 months in jail and a fine of 1000/- extendable to 3 years and a minimum fine of as decided by the court.

Food Standards in India

Some food standards have been formulated and some rules laid down to be followed by the act, the most of which are the: –

1)  PFA standards

These lay down the minimum standards for all types of foods and are revised periodically to meet the requirements of the manufacturer and the consumer from time to
time. The PFA standard was formulated in 1955 were subsequently revised in 1968, 1973 & 1981. Any food not conforming to these standards is said to be adulterated.

2)  FPO standards

The FPO passed in 1946, under the defence of Indian rules, was revised under the essential commodities act, 1955. The FPO standards are mainly concerned with the standards required for maintaining the quality of fruits & vegetables & products manufactured from them. The FPO also specifies the conditions of hygiene & sanitation required to be maintained by the manufacturer of F & V products. The specification for the labelling & packaging of these products has been laid down. Under the FPO it is necessary for manufacturers to get a licence is only issued if the conditions of manufacture & the quality of the products conform to the standards laid down by the order.

3)  AGMARK standards

These standards are formulated on the physical & chemical characteristics of food, both the natural as well as those acquired during processing. Products graded under AGMARK include vegetable oils, ghee, cream, butter, rice, gur, eggs, groundnuts, potatoes, fruits, pulses & spices. These standards ensure accurate weights & correct selling practices.

4)  INDIAN standards

These standards cover vegetable and food products, spices, meat products, condiments & processed food like biscuits, sweets, flour, texturised soya products, tea, coffee & other beverages and so on. The standards are set up by the ISI, who certification mark is ISI, seen on all products indicating conformity to lay down standards the ISI (now BIS) is the national organization for standardization and lays down criteria for standardization of products, materials, practices & processes. It is also involved with the standardization of items like building materials, safety standards for equipment etc. which the caterer must be aware of when a decision regarding premises an equipment are required to be taken.

VEGETABLE OIL CONTROL ORDER (VOCO): – This specifies the standards desired for edible oil and hydrogenated fat to be marketed.

THE MEAT PRODUCT ORDER (MPO): – This relates to the quality of meat products manufactured for sale. Quality refers to the health of the animal being slaughtered hygienic condition of slaughterhouses and microbial quality of meat.

MILK AND MILK PRODUCT ORDER (MMPO): – This was passed by the government in 1992 the MMPO provides for setting up of an advisory board to advise the government on the production, sale, purchase and distribution of milk.

ECOMARK: – This system launched by the BIS was introduced to preserve the environment from pollutants. The mark ensures the consumer that products do not produce hazardous waste materials, are biodegradable and can be recycled. Food item covered includes edible oil, tea, coffee, beverages, infant food, processed foods along with food additives, preservatives and packaging materials as well.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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