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FSSAI Directs Caterers of Airline Industry to Comply With Food Safety Rules

In a significant move, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a directive to airlines and flight caterers, mandating strict adherence to food safety regulations and comprehensive labelling practices. The regulator convened a crucial meeting on January 16, bringing together key players in the airline catering industry to assess and enhance existing food safety protocols.

The primary objective of the meeting was to identify areas for improvement and reiterate the commitment to delivering safe and high-quality inflight meals to passengers. FSSAI acknowledged a common concern – the lack of readily available information for passengers regarding inflight food. In response, the CEO of FSSAI directed all flight caterers and airlines to strictly comply with sub-regulation 5(10) (f) and 8(4) of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020.

The directive specifically focuses on enhancing transparency by requiring detailed information about the nature, origin, and manufacturing-related details of the food served during flights. The CEO emphasised the pivotal role of menu labelling as a powerful tool to inform passengers about the contents of the food served, empowering them to make informed choices.

‘In the meeting, the importance of swift and effective handling of consumer grievances were stressed, and the airline caterers were urged to establish robust mechanisms for prompt resolution, including corrective and preventive actions to minimise food safety-related incidents,’ stated the FSSAI. This underscores a commitment to not only maintaining high standards of food safety but also ensuring that passenger concerns are addressed promptly and effectively.

The discussions also highlighted the need for specialised training programs for catering staff to ensure a comprehensive understanding of food safety and hygiene practices. This move aligns with FSSAI’s broader commitment to upholding the highest standards of food safety and hygiene within the airline catering industry.

The directive comes at a crucial time when the aviation industry is navigating challenges and adapting to the evolving expectations of passengers. By enforcing stringent food safety measures and promoting transparency through labelling, FSSAI aims to bolster consumer confidence and elevate the overall quality of inflight meals.

This proactive step by FSSAI reflects a holistic approach, not only focusing on compliance but also on continuous improvement within the airline catering sector. As the industry strives to recover from the impacts of the global pandemic, such initiatives play a vital role in rebuilding trust and ensuring the safety and satisfaction of air travellers. Airlines and flight caterers are now tasked with implementing these directives, further underscoring the commitment to providing passengers with a safe and satisfying culinary experience during their journeys.

Monika Shanmugam