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How to Apply Food License in Chennai?

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Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Kanakkupillai

The regulatory authority responsible for issuing food licenses in Chennai is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI is a statutory body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It is responsible for formulating and enforcing the country’s food safety and hygiene regulations. FSSAI is empowered to issue licenses and registrations to food businesses based on their scale of operations. 

Key Takeaways

  1. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is responsible for issuing food licenses in India.
  2. Food licenses in Chennai are categorized as Basic Registration, State License, and Central License based on the scale of operations.
  3. A food license is crucial for legal compliance, safety assurance, consumer trust, and business opportunities.
  4. The application process involves determining the required license type, gathering the necessary documents, and submitting the application to FSSAI.
  5. Eligibility criteria depend on the annual turnover and scale of the food business.
  6. Required documents include identity and address proofs, business details, food safety management plans, infrastructure details, etc.
  7. Maintaining hygiene and safety standards is essential for food safety, brand reputation, employee health, and preventing contamination.

Understanding Food Licenses 

Types of food licenses available in Chennai 

In Chennai, food businesses can obtain different types of food licenses based on their scale of operations. The types of food licenses available in Chennai, similar to other parts of India, include:

  • Basic Registration: This is suitable for small-scale food businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 12 lakhs. It is a simple registration process and involves basic compliance requirements.
  • State License: This license is required for medium-sized food businesses with an annual turnover between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores. It involves more comprehensive compliance requirements, including documentation and infrastructure.
  • Central License: This license is mandatory for large-scale food businesses with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 20 crores. It applies to businesses involved in import/export, operating across multiple states, or dealing with specific food categories like dairy, meat, etc.

Importance of obtaining a food license for food-related businesses

Obtaining a food license for food-related businesses in Chennai holds significant importance due to the following reasons:

  • Legal Compliance: It is a legal requirement for food businesses in Chennai to obtain a food license as per the Food Safety and Standards Act. Operating without a license can lead to penalties, fines, and even business closure.
  • Food Safety Assurance: A food license ensures businesses adhere to safety standards and practices. It involves inspections, hygiene audits, and compliance checks, thereby minimizing the risk of foodborne illnesses and ensuring consumer safety.
  • Consumer Trust and Confidence: Having a food license instils trust and confidence among consumers. It signifies that the business complies with quality standards, hygiene practices, and government regulations, assuring customers that their food is safe and of good quality.
  • Business Opportunities: Having a food license opens up opportunities for business growth and expansion. Many retailers, distributors, and online platforms require suppliers to have a valid food license, enabling access to larger markets and collaborations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Food License in Chennai 

Step 1: Determine the type of food license required 

To determine the type of food license required for your business, as the first step to applying for a Food License in Chennai, you need to assess your business’s scale of operations and annual turnover. If your annual turnover is up to Rs. 12 lakhs, you must apply for a Basic Registration. For annual turnovers between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores, a State License is required. If your annual turnover exceeds Rs. 20 crores, or if you engage in specific food categories or import/export, you must apply for a Central License. 

Step 2: Gather the necessary documents and information 

To apply for a Food License in Chennai, you will need to gather the following necessary documents and information:

  • Identity Proof: Personal identification documents include Aadhaar, PAN, or Voter ID.
  • Address Proof: Address proof documents like Aadhaar Card, Electricity Bill, or Rent Agreement.
  • Business Registration Proof: Documents supporting the legal existence of the business, such as a Partnership Deed, Certificate of Incorporation, or Memorandum of Association.
  • Food Safety Management Plan: A detailed plan outlines the processes, procedures, and systems to ensure food safety.
  • List of Food Products: A comprehensive list of products to manufacture, process, or sell.
  • Manufacturing/Processing Unit Layout: Layout plan and photographs of the manufacturing or processing unit.
  • Filled Application Form: The completed application form was provided by the FSSAI.

Step 3: Prepare the application form

Once the necessary documents and information are gathered together, you must fill out the FSSAI license application form.

Step 4: Submitting the application 

The applicant must gather all the documents and information required for the license category they are applying for, such as Basic Registration, State License, or Central License. This includes details about the business, such as the name, address, type of food business, manufacturing processes, food categories, turnover, and supporting documents like identity proof, address proof, and proof of ownership/tenancy. 

Step 5: Inspection and verification process 

The inspection and verification process for applying for a Food License in Chennai involves the following steps. First, the applicant submits the license application online or offline, providing the necessary details and documents. Then, the Food Safety Officer (FSO) assigned to the area inspects the premises to assess hygiene and infrastructure requirements compliance. The FSO examines factors such as cleanliness, storage facilities, pest control measures, and adherence to food safety standards. And a successful verification is important here.

Step 6: Issuance of the food license

To apply for a food license, businesses must apply along with the required documents to the FSSAI. The FSSAI reviews the application, and if all the criteria and compliance requirements are met, the license is issued to the applicant. The issuance of the food license signifies that the business has completed the application process, fulfilled the necessary conditions, and is now authorized to operate as a food business in Chennai.

Detailed Explanation of Application Requirements 

Eligibility criteria for obtaining a food license 

The eligibility criteria for obtaining a food license in Chennai, as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines, are as follows:

Basic Registration:

  • The annual turnover of the food business does not exceed Rs. 12 lakhs.
  • Small-scale food businesses, such as petty retailers, small-scale manufacturers, and home-based food businesses, are eligible.
  • State License:
  • The annual turnover of the food business is between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores.
  • Medium-scale food businesses, such as manufacturers, storage units, retailers, transporters, and distributors, fall under this category.

Central License:

  • The annual turnover of the food business exceeds Rs. 20 crores.
  • Large-scale food businesses, including importers, exporters, food service providers, hotels, restaurants, and caterers, fall under this category.
  • Businesses operating in multiple states also require a central license.
  • The specific eligibility criteria for obtaining a food license in Chennai depend on the scale of operations and annual turnover of the food business. 

Documentation and information required for the application 

The documentation and information required to apply for a food license in Chennai may vary based on the specific license category (Basic Registration, State License, or Central License) and the nature of the food business. However, here is a general list of documents and information typically required:

Identity and Address Proof:

  • Identity proof of the applicant/proprietor/partners/directors (e.g., Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Passport)
  • Address proof of the premises (e.g., Rental Agreement, Utility Bills)

Business Details:

  • Business name and address
  • Type of food business (manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution, etc.)
  • Details of partners/directors/proprietor

Food Safety Management Plan:

  • Details of the food safety management system in place
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to hygiene, storage, handling, etc.
  • Infrastructure Details:
  • Layout plan of the premises, including the dimensions of the food processing/storage areas
  • Equipment and machinery details

Food Categories and Products:

  • Details of the food products to be manufactured or handled
  • Product list, ingredients used, and packaging details

Manufacturing/Processing Details:

  • Production capacity and quantity
  • Manufacturing process flowchart
  • List of machinery and equipment used

Employee Details:

  • Number of employees
  • Employee hygiene and training details

Water Source and Quality:

  • Source of water used in the food processing/manufacturing
  • Water quality test reports

Importance of maintaining hygiene and safety standards

Maintaining hygiene and safety standards in a food business in Chennai is of utmost importance due to the following reasons:

  1. Food Safety: Hygiene and safety practices ensure that the food produced and served is safe for consumption. It prevents the risk of foodborne illnesses and protects the health and well-being of customers.
  2. Brand Reputation: A food business known for its adherence to hygiene and safety standards gains a positive reputation. It distinguishes the business from competitors and attracts more customers, leading to long-term success and growth.
  3. Employee Health and Safety: Proper hygiene practices not only protect customers but also safeguard the health and safety of employees. Maintaining a clean and safe working environment reduces the risk of accidents, injuries, and occupational health issues.
  4. Preventing Contamination and Spoilage: Hygiene practices, such as proper cleaning, storage, and food handling, help prevent contamination and spoilage. This ensures that the food remains fresh, maintains quality, and extends its shelf life, reducing food waste and financial losses.
  5. Employee Training and Development: Emphasizing hygiene and safety standards necessitates regular employee training and development. This promotes a culture of responsibility, professionalism, and continuous improvement within the organization.

Conclusion

Looking to obtain your FSSAI license in Chennai? Contact Kanakkupillai today for expert assistance. Our experienced team will guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and efficient application. Don’t delay; contact us now and get started on your FSSAI license application!

Kanakkupillai

Kanakkupillai is your reliable partner for every step of your business journey in India. We offer reasonable and expert assistance to ensure legal compliance, covering business registration, tax compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, and intellectual property protection. Let us help you navigate the complex legal and regulatory requirements so you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.