Food Safety Compliance System - FoSCoS

Why Food Safety Standards? What is FSS Act? What is FoSCoS?

India is known for her culinary treats. We have been primarily a country where food is cooked fresh everyday for every meal. Storage of cooked food was not very prevalent as it was understood that fresher the food, the more healthy it is. But then, as society evolved, living patterns see changes to accommodate these changes in lifestyle. The kitchen became a tool of necessity where both freshly prepared food and pre packaged food jostle for space. Eating at restaurants, instead of being an entertainment, became a necessity. Acknowledging these changing scenarios, the food industry evolved where we have restaurants serving food from the break of dawn till late night, at times 24 hour service places, cloud kitchen, home delivery systems, dehydrated food, pre packaged food, prepacked food, half cooked food and what not. 

FSSAI FoSCoS Explained:

The change in method of creating food fit for human consumption is seeing a multi-dimensional change and approach. To address that the food being sold thus be fit for consumption and has standards and information on its nutritional value, ingredients used, best before dates, expiry dates, age brackets fit for and other such information, the Government of India has strived to create standards, introduce checks and balances, through issue and renewal of licenses and audits etc. 

The Food Safety Act, 2006 (FSS Act) FoSCoS was introduced under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.  The FSS Act established a regulatory body called FSSAI to lay down standards for food safety and for laying down standards based on science, for articles of food and to regulate manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import of articles of food, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for consumption by humans. This Authority issues licenses and registration, conducts inspections and other activities.

FSSAI is short for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Where as FoSCoS stands for food safety compliance system. This Authority has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act), a Central legislation, which consolidates various acts and orders (enumerated below) that earlier handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. The enactment of FSS Act brought all food related legislations under one umbrella.

In the year 2007, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare took over the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

Primarily, the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act) replaced the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 along with associated laws like: 

  • Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947
  • Fruit Products Order, 1955
  • Solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967
  • Meat Food Products Order,1973
  • Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order 1988
  • Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 

All the above dealt with the different aspects of the food that we eat or that are prepared in piecemeal manner. FSSAI became a comprehensive act that dealt with all the related topics under one act, but having multiple Rules under its aegis. All these rules have been mentioned with links to them at the end of this article.

FSSAI FoSCoS is the body that is responsible for drafting the standards for food safety and hygiene in India. This registration is compulsory for all FBOs, like- manufacturers, processors, businesses involved in storage units, transporters, retailers and distributors. 

FSSAI FoSCoS has been mandated by the FSS Act for performing the following functions:

  • To raise overall consciousness regarding food safety and regulations pertaining to food standards.
  • To participate in shaping global technical standards for food, sanitation, and phytosanitary regulations.Regulations to be framed for laying down standards, processes and guidelines relating to food-articles alongwith and detailing  requisite methods to bring into force the several standards.
  • To establish protocols and standards for the accreditation of laboratories and also to communicate the notifications of such accredited laboratories. Facilitate food businesses operators with certification of their food safety management systems by building guidelines and structures for registering private/ public bodies who will provide such certifications.
  • To gather and compile data pertaining to food consumption, the occurrence and pervasiveness of biological risks, food contaminants, traces of diverse pollutants in food items, identification of emerging hazards, and the implementation of speedy alert processes.
  • To give scientific counsel and technical assistance to both- Central and State Governments relating to formulation of policies and regulations in domains directly/indirectly related to food safety and its nutrition.
  • To establish a nationwide information network ensuring swift, dependable, and unbiased dissemination of food safety information and matters of public concern to the general populace, consumers, and local governing bodies like Zila Parishad, Panchayats etc. To conduct training programs designed for individuals engaged in or seeking to enter the food industry.

Food Safety Compliance System - FoSCoS

We have the website, a comprehensive one called FoSCoS, in common parlance, which is a beautifully made website and helps us apply for food registrations/ licenses. The UI-UX of the website is good and very user friendly.

Earlier, we had multiple platforms as enumerated below:

  • FSM - Food Safety Mitra
  • FoSCoRIS - Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspection and Sampling
  • InFoLNet - Indian Food Laboratory Network 
  • Food Safety Connect- Complaints Management System
  • Audit Management System (AMS), adjudications and penalties, Online Annual Return platform,
  • FICS - Food Import Clearing System 
  • FoSTaC - Food Safety Training and Certification 

All these varied platforms and websites have been subsumed under FoSCoS.

FoSCoS will be further integrated with other platforms such as MCA, PAN and GST which will correlate data and stop duplication of work. 


Food Business operator- FBO

Reg- Regulation

FSS- Food Safety and Standard

Registration and Licenses from FSSAI

As per Food Safety And Standards (Licensing And Registration Of Food Businesses), 2011, an FBO might require the following different types of registration and/or Licences- 

1. Registration as FBO (Basic Registration) (for small scale players)


2. Acquire License for FoSCoS

  • State License- (large player but single state only)
  • Central License (large player and multi state)


3. Food Import License (for importers)

In some cases. Even if the FBO is not a  multi state player, even then they may require a Central License.

For any help, queries or for registration under FSSAI FoSCoS, please click here to avail an expert consultation or buy the registration service

Understanding the Different Types of Registration and Licenses from FSSAI

Basic Registration (FSSAI License Type A)

This registration is applicable to small-scale Petty Food Manufacturer whose annual turnover does not exceed Rs. 12 lakhs. Basic registration can be obtained by submitting Form A to the FSSAI FoSCoS.

A "Petty Food Manufacturer" is someone or a business that makes or sells food in certain ways. This can include things like running a small shop, selling food on the street, having a temporary food stand, or distributing food in different places. But it doesn't include catering for big events like weddings or parties.

For being classified as a Petty Food Vendor,  the FBO should have a turnover of not more than Rs 12 lakhs per annum. Further, the FBO need to meet, additionally, one or more of these conditions based on quantity:

1. All food manufacturers- should not manufacture/ deal in 100 kg / litres of food items, for every day of production, except for milk, milk products, meat, and meat products.

2. Milk related FBO-  Should not collect / handle more than 500 litres of milk each day.

3. Slaughterhouse- Not more than 2 big animals, 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds each day.

State License (FSSAI License Type B)

  • State License is required for Food Business Operators (FBOs) who have a turnover, annually,  exceeding Rs. 12 lakhs but not more than Rs. 20 crores. 
  • FBOs who operate within a single state need to apply for a state license by submitting Form B to the concerned State Food Safety Department
  • Presently, through the FoSCos website, the filing is automatically sent to the concerned State department thus, making physical running around from department to department obsolete.

Central License (FSSAI License Type C)

  • Food Business Operators (FBOs) with a turnover, annually, exceeding Rs. 20 crores, are required to get a central license. 
  • FBOs operating in multiple states also need to apply for a central license. 
  • Presently, through the FoSCos website, the filing is automatically sent to the concerned State department thus, making physical running around from department to department obsolete.

Food Import License under FSSAI: 

For obtaining a Food Import License, the applicant/ prospective Importer needs a Import Export Code (IE Code), with validity, issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Broad Steps /Process for obtaining FSSAI registration or License

The process for obtaining an FSSAI registration typically involves the following steps:

  1. Application Preparation: The applicant will have to collect the necessary documents and information required for the application, such as business details, food categories, production capacity, etc.
  1. Form Submission: The completed application form, along with the necessary supporting documents and information, is to be submitted online on the FoSCoS website and it will be directed by the website to the concerned State/ Central Department.
  1. Application Verification: The FSSAI verifies the application and the supporting documents for completeness and accuracy. Additional information or clarification will be asked for, if the need is felt by the concerned department.
  1. Inspection: FBOs may be subject to an inspection by a designated Food Safety Officer to assess compliance with food safety standards and hygiene practices.
  1. License Issuance: If the application and inspection are complete in all respects and the concerned department is satisfied with the information and documents submitted, , the FSSAI will issue the respective license (basic, state, or central).

Schedule 1 to FSS (Licensing And Registration Of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011

Similar to the method where the Constitution of India has State, Central and Concurrent list for activities to be taken up by state government or Central government or by both jointly, the FSS Act has given FSSAI FoSCoS power to arrange food businesses under Central and State jurisdictions.

This Schedule 1 under the SS (Licensing And Registration Of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, lists out food businesses for which the Central Licensing Authority will grant licenses for commencing or conducting food businesses. However, the FSSAI FoSCoS has the authority to make changes or modifications to the list in Schedule 1 through notification(s), if it feels it necessary.

All those food businesses that are not covered under Schedule 1, licenses will be granted by the respective State/UT's Licensing Authority.

For any help, queries or for registration under FSSAI, please click here to avail an expert consultation or buy the registration service

Regulations issued under the FSS Act and issued by FSSAI:

The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (the Act or FSSA) has issued the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011. The FSSA functions when read along with the Rules.

Further, the Act has many Regulations as under, which helps it function across various food categories, operators, vendors, manufacturers etc. 

For any help, queries or for registration under FSSAI, please click here to avail an expert consultation or buy the registration service

To understand that a system has been created where there are checks and balances, but no guideline for defining what food is good for an individual. The duty of the manufacturer, seller etc  is to give the information as per the act and rules. Decisions relating to purchase of the food rests entirely with the end consumer. 


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