FSSAI - Food Safety Certification for Urban SHGs & Urban Street Food Vendors
TNULM has taken an active initiative in terms of training and certifying urban SHGs and street vendors involved in micro food enterprises to enhance the quality and value of their offerings.
Significant number of DAY-NULM SHG members from Tamil Nadu are into the economic activity of micro food processing as well as into retailing of food related products. Several street food vendors in urban areas of Tamil Nadu form part of the Common Interest Group network under DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu.
In order to formalize those SHG members and urban street food vendors, DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu has undertaken a special initiative to provide Food Safety and Standardization Training to the members. The first training program was inaugurated in the State Headquarters of Chennai on 03.09.2022 by the State Mission Director, DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu and the same was followed suit in the remaining 37 districts.
In the Phase 1 of the pilot exercise, 1,217 SHG members who are into Micro Food Processing Enterprises and are beneficiaries of PMFME scheme and Urban Street Food Vendors, who are beneficiaries of PMSVANidhi have been given training on Food Safety and Standardization and were provided with Registration Certificates. The objective of this training was to create an improved environment of self-compliance to Food Safety and Standardization Act, Rules and Regulations and to be a responsible Food Business owner. Certificates were issued to the DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu SHG members and Street Food Vendors through FoSTaC mode within 48 hours of the training.
FSSAI Food Safety Registration is mandatory for anyone who intends to do food business. All SHG members and Street food vendors who deal with food at various stages before it ultimately reaches the customer like those who deal with raw materials, those involved in manufacturing and processing of food products, those managing food canteens and in food distribution and those involved in urban street food vending were all covered in this initiative.
SHG members of DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu operate at micro levels of food processing and their turnovers are usually much less than INR 12 lakhs per annum limit fixed by the authorities for basic FSSAI registration. This warranted a need to provide them with suitable training to enhance their capacities to handle their micro-food business and at the same time, create a safety net by recognizing them as an organized member of the Micro Food Enterprise/ Urban Street Vending network.
FSSAI certificate authorizes the business to obtain legal benefits to prevent from fine, debarment, or both which a food business has to face if it fails to obtain the FSSAI license. An FSSAI certificate helps in enhancing the brand value and provides wider access to the market by increasing the goodwill of the product. FSSAI license gives customers, assurance about the standard of products, which makes them more likely to choose over competitors. Consumers today are conscious about the quality and hygiene of what they eat.
The FoSTaC training cost was INR 300 which was fully subsidized and only Rs.100 was charged for the FSSAI Certification cost, as an exclusive offer for DAY-NULM, Tamil Nadu SHG members as well for urban street vendors in the state.
The training covered topics related to – Introduction to Food Safety, hygienic manufacturing practices, cleaning and sanitation of manufacturing location, food quality, printing of FSSAI Registration number, pest control, personal hygiene, procurement and storage of raw materials, pre-processing, production and packaging of products, approved additives, how to identify adulterated food products, legal rights of FSSAI registration owners.
This Food Safety and Standardization Training was organized by Tamil Nadu Urban Livelihoods Mission in coordination with Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, Government of Tamil Nadu. In phase -2, SHG members and Street Food Vendors in all 649 Urban Local Bodies of Tamil Nadu will be covered.