INTRODUCTION    

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022 on 10th June 2022. These regulations define ‘Vegan Food’ and general requirements of Vegan Food. In furtherance to these regulations, the FSSAI has issued the Guidelines for submission of applications for endorsement of vegan logo on 25th July 2022 These guidelines are required to be followed by Food business operators prior to endorsing any food products as a Vegan food product.  

WHAT IS VEGAN FOOD? 

The Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022, define vegan food as any food or food ingredient, including additives, flavourings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are not products of animal origin and in which, at no stage of production and processing the ingredients including additives, flavourings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids of animal origin has been used.  

PROCEDURE FOR ENDORSEMENT OF VEGAN FOOD LOGO IS AS FOLLOWS: 

APPLICATION:  

  • The Application has to be submitted by the Food Business Operator (FBO) in the FORM A with the necessary documents and Rs 5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand Only) to the Food Authority.  

The Fees for filing of application maybe reviewed and revised by the Food Authority from time to time.

SCRUTINY AND APPROVAL:  

  • The Application shall be scrutinized by the Food Authority in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022.  
  • The Food Authority may direct the Food Business Operator to submit additional supporting documents, data or clarifications as maybe required by the Authority for deciding the application 

The Food Authority shall upon scrutiny of the application and other additional documents if required and decide to either grant or reject the application as per FORM B. 

 

PROCEDURE FOR APPEAL  

  • Any Food Business Operator whose application has been rejected may file an appeal before the Chief Executive Officer of the Food Authority 

In the event of rejection of the application by the Chief Executive Officer, the Food Business Operator may file a review petition which shall be placed for consideration in the meeting of the Food Authority. 

 

SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION 

The Food Authority may suspend and revoke any approval granted to any Food Business Operator for such reasons as the Authority may deem fit and such reasons are to be recorded in writing.  

LICENSING  

A Food Business Operator who has obtained the approval as per the guidelines, shall be required to apply for license to the licensing authority as per the procedure specified in the Food Safety and Standards (licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 

SAFETY OF VEGAN FOOD PRODUCTS 

  1. Responsibility of Food Business Operators: All Food Business Operators are required to ensure that the vegan food for which the approval is granted is free from any health risks and complies with all requirements of the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022. In the event the Food Business Operator believes that any such vegan food poses any risk to health or in not in compliance with the general requirement in the Regulations shall :  
  2. immediately suspend the business activities of the said food which will include its manufacture, import, sale or distribution of such article of food 
  3. initiate steps to recall such food product and intimate the Food Authority in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Food Recall) Regulations, 2017 
  4. Responsibility of Food Safety Officers: In the event any complaint is received by the Food Safety Officers or other Designated Officers in regard to safety of any product approved by the Food Authority under Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022, such Officer shall immediately inform the Food Authority.  

 

CONCLUSION- 

The Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022 clearly state that he food products to be called vegan, shall not have involved animal testing for any purpose including safety evaluation, unless provided by any Regulatory Authority. 

Further, the Regulations are also applicable to import vegan food products and states that no vegan food products shall be imported except with a certificate issued by the recognized authorities of the exporting countries.