The draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2021, were published as required by sub-section (1) of section 92 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (34 of 2006) vide notification of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, number F. No. Std/TF-Vegan Foods/Notif./FSSAI, dated the 6″ September, 2021, in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, inviting objections and suggestions from all the persons likely to be affected thereby, before the expiry of the period of sixty days from the date on which the copies of the Official Gazette containing the said notifications were made available to the public. The copies of the said Gazette were made available to the public on the 8″ September, 2021.
FSSAI has considered the suggestions and objections received from the public in respect of the draft regulation. Consequently, in exercise of powers conferred by clause (v) of sub-section (2) of section 92 of the said Act and with the previous approval of the Central Government, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India hereby makes the following regulations, namely: –
- Short title and commencement – (1) These regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Vegan Foods) Regulations, 2022.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
- Definitions. – (1) In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, –
(a)“Vegan food” means the food or food ingredient, including additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are not products of animal origin and in which, at no stage of production and processing, ingredients, including additives, flavorings, enzymes and carriers, or processing aids that are of animal origin has been used.
(2) Words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Act, or rules or regulations made thereunder shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Act, rules or regulations, respectively.
- General requirements. – (1) No person shall manufacture, pack, sell, offer for sale, market or otherwise distribute or import any food as vegan food unless they comply with the requirements laid down under these regulations.
(2) The food products to be called vegan, shall not have involved animal testing for any purpose including safety evaluation, unless provided by any Regulatory Authority.
(3) Every packaging material used for vegan foods shall comply with the provisions of the packaging regulations.
(4) The Food Business Operator shall ensure that all stages of production, processing and distribution shall be designed to take the appropriate precautions in conformity with the Good Manufacturing Practices in such a way to avoid the unintended presence of non-vegan substances.
(5) If the same production line is shared with non-vegan products or ingredients, thorough cleaning or comparable measures in conformity with Good Manufacturing Practices shall be carried out before production of vegan products commences and the same shall extend to all associated machinery, equipment, utensils and surfaces.
(6) The Food Business Operator shall take appropriate precautions in conformity with the Good Manufacturing Practices before vegan products are prepared, produced or packaged.
(7) There shall be traceability established up to the manufacturer level and the Food Business Operator shall comply with any other requirements specified by the Food Authority to maintain the vegan integrity of the foods or food ingredients or products thereof from time to time.
(8) Every vegan food or ingredient shall comply with the relevant provisions, as applicable under the Act, rules and regulations.
- Labelling and display requirements. – (1) The seller of vegan food either exclusively or as part of retail merchandise shall store and display such food in a manner distinguishable from non-vegan food.
(3) In addition to the specified requirements, all vegan foods shall comply with the packaging and labelling requirements specified under the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020, except clause(b) of sub regulation (4) of regulation 5.
- Vegan food compliance. – (1) The Food Business Operator shall submit an application to the concerned licensing authority with all necessary details in a format as may be specified by the Food Authority.
(2) The Food Authority may specify guidelines for approval of vegan logo.
(3) No vegan food products shall be imported except with a certificate issued by the recognised authorities of the exporting countries in the format as specified by the Authority is accepted.