The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the state food safety commissioners to carry out an enforcement drive aimed at checking whether packaged drinking water is being sold without FSSAI or Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification mark. The apex food regulator has asked the state machinery to take strict action in cases failing to comply with the prescribed regulations under FSS Act.
Recently, the authority has written a letter citing reports that it has received through BIS about violations of norms by the packaged drinking water manufacturers. The letter states, “It has been reported that a large number of FBOs are engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of packaged drinking water without FSSAI/BIS certification mark. It has also been brought to notice by BIS that several complaints have been received on mushrooming growth of units in various states manufacturing and selling packaged drinking water without BIS certification.”
The FSSAI said that under the Rule 2.3.14 (17) (18) of FSS Act – ‘No person shall manufacture, sell or exhibit for sale, packaged drinking water and mineral water except under the Bureau of Indian Standards certification mark’ and that the state machinery should therefore act against the violators.
The apex food regulator directed the state commissioners of food safety that they should carry out enforcement drive against unauthorised manufacture and sale of packaged drinking water without BIS/FSSAI mark in the state and Union territories. “Further it is also requested to furnish all the details regarding number of inspections undertaken, samples collected of the packaged drinking water and found contravening to the prescribed regulations under the Act and the subsequent action taken in the case,” states the order.
Meanwhile, according to industry sources, the order was welcomed by the industry. Indian Beverage Association sources say that strict action must be taken against the violators.