On Friday, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has implemented new guidelines for online food and grocery operators such as Grofers and Big Basket as well as food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato.
The national food inspector said food products which are offered for sale are liable to sampling at any point in the supply chain. Companies will also need to provide a sample of the food on their platforms so that consumers can recognise the product. All mandatory information mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act will also have to be provided to consumers before purchase and only fresh food should be delivered to consumers.
GOVT SETS NEW RULE | BUSINESS NEWS
The Chief executive of FSSAI said that “With the increasing use of e-commerce platforms by consumers, the guidelines are aimed at stepping up vigilance on the safety of food provided to consumers and the new guideline will help in building confidence in the e-commerce food business sector.
The food should have a remaining shelf life of 30% or 45 days before expiry at the time of delivery, said the Grofer’s chief executive.
Zomato has delisted “thousands” of restaurants from its food-ordering platform over the past few months said the official.
According to the new guidelines, “Food business operators need to ensure that the last-mile delivery is undertaken by trained personnel and that the safety of food products is not compromised at the time of delivery”.
According to the recent CRISIL report, online food and grocery is expected to be the fastest-growing segment in online retail and will increase in the next three years to Rs 10,000 crore in revenue.
Online food and grocery start-ups, moving from a hyperlocal to the inventory-led business model, have been growing in the on the back of greater efficiencies in supply chain and technology, cutting costs and doing away with unprofitable products.