Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has revised packaging regulations to increase food safety and prevent any form of contamination.

The agency replaces all packaging requirement provisions prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.

The new provisions will become effective on 1 July and prohibit the use of recycled plastics for packing, storing or carrying the food products.

It bans the use of newspaper and other similar materials known for their carcinogenic effect.

The packaging regulations aim to protect the packaged food contents from microbiological, chemical and physical contaminations. They will also prevent a change in properties or composition of food when packed.

The new provisions were implemented following two FSSAI studies, which raised concerns on the packaging material used by the unorganised/informal sector.

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“The new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level.”

However, packaging material used in the organised sector was found to be largely safe in the tests.

The agency carried out studies through the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) in Mumbai and the National Test House (NTH) in Kolkata.

FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said: “The new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level.”

He also highlighted the challenges in implementing the new regulations as most of it pertains to the loose packaging materials and unorganised sector.

FSSAI will work to develop mass awareness among consumers and food businesses before the new packaging regulations become effective.