The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has come out with stricter rules regarding permissible levels of contaminants like metal, toxins, etc, in food items.
The draft regulations issued on Tuesday also expands product categories to include items such as canned fruits and vegetables, packaged pulses, wheat, and meat products and recommends packaging and labeling requirements as well.
The proposed draft has expanded the 'specified' categories of items brought under strict quality norms to 70-80 from the existing 30-40, by shifting products from 'non-specified' to it.
Companies that sell canned fruits and vegetables or packaged pulses, wheat, and meat products may find the going tough, if the draft policy is implemented.
FSSAI on Tuesday released draft Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulation, 2015, prescribing permissible limits of melamine in milk and milk products, limits of biotoxins in fish and fish products, standards of dried/salted and dried fishery products, limits of heavy metals and mycotoxins in foods, standards of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and natural colour as also their labelling requirements, standards of steviol glycoside, limits of naturally occurring toxins (NOTS) in various articles of foods and standards of gluten and non-gluten foods with respect to limits of isomaltulose, high fibre dextrin, ARA and DHA in various food products.
FSSAI has brought down the permissible levels of lead to a 0.05 to 0.1 ppm range, on the lines of the European Union's food safety standards.
The existing permissible limit for 'non-specified' items is at 2.5 ppm. Instant noodles still remain out of purview.
It has sought public comments on its draft by 24 August.