FSSAI’s advices Indian airlines to maintain appropriate licenses of in-flight meals

FSSAI has responded to complaints about substandard food quality on Indian airlines by issuing an advisory. The advisory stresses the importance of transparent labeling for all in-flight meals, requiring details such as the caterer’s name, FSSAI license number and expiry date.
The advisory mandates that product labeling must include essential information such as expiry date and the caterer’s name. Additionally, flight kitchen operators and in-flight food service providers are instructed to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Act and its regulations, including labeling norms.
“The flight operators shall ensure that the passengers are well aware of the FSSAI license number of both the caterer/manufacturer as well as the flight operators. Basic details in case of prepared foods such as the name of the Caterer, FSSAI License number, Date and Time of packaging, and Use by Date and Time, shall be ensured on the packaging along with the other details as applicable as per FSS (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020,” FSSAI said in its recent advisory. The airlines are also asked to inform passengers that any food-related grievances can be lodged on the Food Safety Connect App.
The report said, “It has been observed that food is being prepared by Flight Kitchen Operators, which are caterers located in and around the vicinity of the airports , and then transferred through specialized vehicles like insulated refrigerated vans/wagons to the flights. In the flights, food is then served to passengers of that particular flight through the staff of the Airlines, which is inflight food services.”
FSSAI has recommended that flight kitchen operators designate themselves as ‘food services (caterer)’ in their license applications. Moreover, firms engaged in storing and transporting food from flight kitchens to flights are mandated to acquire a separate license.
Airlines can get one FSSAI license for providing services all over India and need not take separate licenses in different states as per FSSAI. However, they must describe themselves as “food services (caterer)” in terms of the “kind of business” in their description. The airlines that also sell pre-packaged food should also indicate themselves as “retailer” in the license”. “In case Airlines get their pre-packaged food products manufactured or imported under their brand name, they shall obtain an appropriate manufacturing License or Importer License,” said FSSAI.

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