FSSAI publishes Guidance Note on Stickers on Fruits and Vegetables

Oct 26, 2018 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), on October 25, 2018 has issued a Guidance Note on the stickers pasted on fruits and vegetables.

As per the provisions in Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, no food business operator shall store, sell or distribute any article of food which is unsafe. Unsafe food means food whose nature, substance or quality is affected so as to render it injurious to health by the article itself or by its package, which is composed of poisonous or deleterious substance. Specific requirements for packaging of fresh fruits with reference to stickers or its adhesive is not prescribed under Food Safety and Standards Regulations.

Stickers are important tool for consumers to get information about the products in order to make the purchase decision. The skin of fruits and vegetables is porous and absorbs the substances that come in contact with them. It is a common practice to apply small stickers on the surfaces of individual fruit or vegetable across the world. The stickers are directly applied on the skin of fruits and vegetables with the help of "pressure sensitive adhesives". These adhesives forma bond with contact surface when pressure is applied. Large number of chemicals are used in manufacturing of adhesives whose safety is not known. These chemicals may migrate into the food or may be consumed along with the fruits and vegetables. Therefore, adhesives used on stickers shall not pose any adverse health effects on humans.

The FSSAI, vide this Guidance Note, advices the traders the following:

1.       Stickers without any relevant information such as traceability, grade, price, barcode etc. should not be used.

2.       The traders should avoid putting stickers or labels directly on fruits.

3.       If stickers are used, the adhesives used on the stickers must be of quality which should not cause any adverse effect on human health.

4.       A functional barrier may be used to avoid direct application of stickers on fruits and vegetables. Few fruits may be packed in transparent thin film on which sticker may be applied.

5.       The ink used on the stickers should be of food grade. It should not migrate into food.

[Guidance Note No. 05/2018]

URL: https://fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:c218a7f5-782d-48af-834e-aa791ad0932f/Guidance_Note_Fruit_Vegetables_25_10_2018.pdf


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