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30 Oct 2020

Food Safety Compliance System (FOSCOS) – A Game-Changer For Food Laws Compliance And Enforcement Mechanism

With increased awareness, globalization and technological advancement, people are becoming more and more conscious of their eating choices. In fact, COVID-19 has changed the food habits of many individuals eager to fight against the pandemic by adopting a more balanced and nutritious diet to improve immunity. Accordingly, Indian Food laws are changing in line with global food laws/standards through amendment of various regulations based on the changing scenario. Food Safety Standard Act, 2006 (“the Act”) is also evolving and transforming in consonance with the “One Nation One Food Law” initiative.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) established under the Act is now not only responsible for monitoring food safety standards but is also governing the entire food supply chain. With this mandate, the FSSAI has taken various steps towards easing the process of registration and licensing.

A new step in that direction is the replacement of the present online application system i.e. Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) to provide licensing and registration with an upgraded, advanced, controlled, improved and developed open-source platform called Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS).

It was initially launched in the States/UTs of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Gujarat, Goa, Odisha, Manipur, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ladakh in June 2020. FSSAI is now launching the second phase of FoSCoS in the remaining 27 States/UTs on 01st November 2020. Consequently, the FLRS portal has been closed w.e.f. 21st October 2020. FoSCoS is more user-friendly and effective IT platform which seeks to connect Food Business Operators (FBOs), Designated Officers (DOs) and Food Safety Officer (FSOs).

FoSCoS is an upgraded and comprehensive solution which also connects with FSSAI’s other existing IT platforms such as Food Safety Compliance through Regular Inspection and Sampling (FoSCoRIS), Food Safety Connect-Complaints Management System, Online Annual Return Platform, Food Import Clearing System (FICS), Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet), Audit Management System (AMS), Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC), Food Safety Mitra (FSM), etc.

FoSCoS has been rolled out to achieve the following objectives:

  • Transform from the present FLRS which is only a licensing platform to a central food safety compliance regulatory platform.
  • Facilitate a hassle-free and user-friendly IT platform to connect Food Business Operators and Food Authority.
  • Build a technically advanced integrated application to achieve interoperability with other applications, capable of higher user traffic, and has potential for future upgrades and functionalities.
  • Enhance user performance of the application and make the application process simpler and efficient to promote ease of doing business amongst FBOs.
  • Achieve minimal physical documentation and streamline business process flows for FBOs for online application.
  • Achieve and enable the application to have a standardized product approach rather than a text box approach for manufacturers.
  • Enable the application to seed business-specific details such as CIN No., PAN No. and GST No. to ensure effective profiling and validation of FBOs.
  • The FSSAI expects FoSCoS to be a game-changer for the implementation and enforcement of food laws in India. It is necessary to create awareness among Food Business Operators and the general public to achieve the goal of the Swastha Bharath Mission.

    Fox Mandal is planning to publish a series of articles/blogs to create awareness on the food laws in India and related compliance under the FoSCoS Platform.

    Image Credits: Photo by Mat Brown from Pexels

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