Prevention of Food Adulteration Act,1954


Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954

The Act was promulgated by Parliament in 1954 to make provision for the prevention of adulteration of food, along with the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 which was incorporated in 1955 as an extension to the Act. Broadly, the PFA Act covers food standards, general procedures for sampling, analysis of food, powers of authorized officers, nature of penalties and other parameters related to food. It deals with parameters relating to food additives, preservative, colouring matters, packing & labelling of foods, prohibition & regulations of sales etc. Like FPO, amendment in PFA rules are incorporated with the recommendation made by the Central Committee of Food Standards (CCFS) which has been setup by Central Government under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare comprising members from different regions of the country. The provisions of PFA Act and Rules are implemented by State Government and local bodies as provided in the rules.
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 will be repealed from the date to be notified by the Central Government as per the Food Safety and Standards Act,2006. Till that date new standards are specified, the requirement and other provisions of the PFA Act, 1954 and Rules, 1955 shall continue to be in force as a transitory provision for food standards.


The PFA Division has contemplated the following draft Rules/Regulations for the FSS Act, 2006, which are in the process of further scrutiny in consultation with State Government. The draft regulations are relating to:-

(i) Procedure for Licensing and Registration of Food Business Operators.

(ii) Operationalization of Food Safety and Standards Act by the State Government.

(iii) Draft Rules in pursuance to sub-section (b), (c), (e) & (f) of Section 91(2) and sub-section (n), (q), (r ) & (s) of Section 92(2) of FSS Act, 2006 relating to qualification of Food Safety Officer, qualification of food analyst, manner of sending samples, functions of FSO, Procedure for getting food analysed by purchaser, function and procedure to be followed by food laboratories and other officials under Section 47.

2. The following meetings were arranged during 2008-09:

(i) Meeting of Central Committee for Food Standards held at New Delhi.

(ii) One meeting of Food Additives and Contaminants Sub-Committee.

(iii) Five meetings of Nutrition, Food for Special Dietary Uses, Infant Foods Sub-Committee.


(iv) Five meetings of Pesticide Residues Sub-Committee.


(v) One meeting of Oils and Fats Sub-Committee.


(vi) Five meetings of Expert Group to review the Method of Analysis of Pesticide Residue in carbonated water.


3. The following draft and final notifications for PFA Amendments were published:-


(a) Final Notifications:-

(i) GSR No. 114(E) dated 28.02.2008 - Coating of waxes (shellac) in fresh fruits.

(ii) GSR No. 206(E) dated 25.03.2008 – Adoption of methods of analysis prescribed in the manual of methods for analysis of food brought out by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

(iii) GSR No. 467(E) dated 18.06.2008 – Revision of B.R./I.R. value of Olive oil.

(iv) GSR No. 500(E) dated 05.07.2008 – Revision of standards of packaged drinking water.

(v) GSR No. 664(E) dated 19.09.2008 – Revision of labelling provision of food articles.

(vi) GSR No. 754(E) dated 27.10.2008 – Revision of standards of Rice Bran Oil.

(b) Draft Notifications:-

(i) GSR No. 106(E) dated 25.02.2008 – Revision of standards of Rice Bran Oil.

(ii) GSR No. 208(E) dated 25.03.2008 – Revision of standards of milk products allowing of some food additives including microbiological parameters and revision of standards of chakka and shrikand.

(iii) GSR No. 380(E) dated 15.05.2008 – Revision of labelling provisions of food articles.

(iv) GSR No. 498(E) dated 05.07.2008 – M.R.L.s of pesticide residues in carbonated water.

(v) GSR No. 524(E) dated 15.07.2008 – M.R.L.s of pesticide residues in food articles.

(vi) GSR No. 871(E) dated 23.12.2008 – Revision of standards of fruit products.

(vi) GSR No. 871(E) dated 23.12.2008 – Revision of standards of fruit products.

(vii) GSR No. 42(E) dated 22.01.2009 – Sale of food additives conforming to Bureau of Indian Standards specifications.

(viii) GSR No. 43(E) dated 22.01.2009 – Use of Polyols in food, SHMP in fruit drinks/ fruit beverages and aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose in certain food articles.

(ix) GSR No. 44(E) dated 22.01.2009 – To increase the quantity of samples of certain food articles for analysis.

Food Research & Standardisation Laboratory Ghaziabad

Food Research and Standardisation Laboratory, Ghaziabad was established in 1971 under Directorate General of Health Services / Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to check the adulteration and to undertake analysis of food samples from market for the purpose of determining their quality and purity.

This laboratory is working as Appellate Laboratory (Central Food Laboratory) under Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 to check the adulteration of food sample.

After WTO Agreement import of packaged and processed food has increased tremendously in the country. Lot of new chemicals and food additives of varied nature in the form of colors, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, anti-caking agents artificial sweeteners, flavouring agents, sequestering and buffering agents etc. are being used to certain limits in processed foods due to technological requirements for their manufacturing and preservation to increase the shelf life and cosmetic value of the food. Some of these food additives are toxic in nature and may be harmful for human consumption, if used beyond a certain limit. To check the use of such food additives in various food items they need to be examined regularly so that such food items may not be dumped into India.




Central Food Laboratory, Kolkata was established in 1955 under Directorate General of Health Services, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi, vide letter no. PFA/Sec 4/F.11-4/55-D) (I) dated. 1st June, 1995 spare of ministry of Health & Family Welfare, New Delhi to undertake analysis of food samples from trying courts from all over the country and from market to determine the quality and purity of the food to lay down standards for food Articles. Initially the Central Food Laboratory was established in the premises of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, C.R. Avenue, Calcutta-700012. Afterwards it was shifted to its own building situated at 3, KYD Street, Kolkata-700016.

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, which strives to ensure that quality and safety of food, both domestic and imported. There had been constant conscious effort to make the laboratory a Centre of Excellence by all standards. To achieve this, the process of Accreditation from NABL had been initiated and application submitted to the concerned authority for final assessment.

1. Analytical services: Thousands of legal and investigational samples were analyzed and reported within stipulated time prescribed under PFA rules, 1955.


Year Sources of food samples Samples received Samples analysed Found adulterated % adulteration
2001 Trying courts 677 633 430 67.93
2001 Customs 1857 1806 71 3.93
2002 Trying courts 402 376 272 72.34
2002 Customs 1764 1831 245 13.38
2003 Trying courts 83 64 43 67.19
2003 Customs 1707 1647 57 3.46
2004 Trying courts 91 64 39 60.94
2004 Customs 2344 2102 59 2.81
2005 Trying courts 69 58 30 51.72
2005 Customs 1745 1730 96 5.56
2006 Trying courts 75 70 42 60.00
2006 Customs 2200 2187 185 8.46
2007 Trying courts 37 25 11 44.00
2007 Customs 2029 2000 140 7.00

2. Area Specified: w.e.f. 28.8.2002

Hon’ble courts of States and UTs – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttaranchal and Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Island and Lakshadweep.

All Seaports/Airports/Inland Container Depots in the U.T.s/state of:-

The Andaman and Nicobar Island, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

All International borders in the States of – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.

Details of Number of Samples Analysed and Found Adulterated at the Four Central Food Laboratory during the Year 2007

Name of the Central Food Lab From trying courts under Section 13 (2A)13(2B) of the PFA Act

From Customs, Court Health Officers, Government Department & Specials Samples not connected with PFA Act
Investigational Samples and those of Collaborative Studies    Total

Analysed Ad Adulterated Analysed Adulterated Analysed Adulterated Analysed Adulterated
CFL PUNE 613 430 250 06 01 Nil 864 436
CFL Kolkata 25 11 3149 143 73 Nil 3247 154
FRSL Ghaziabad 72 64 608 243 Nil Nil 680 307
CFTRI Mysore 517 336 1132 172 Nil Nil 1649 508

Apart from this Laboratory, there are other Central Food Laboratories situated in Kolkatta, Mumbai, Sonauli and Raxaul. Sonauli and Raxaul are situated in the Indo-Nepal border. Mumbai Laboratory is yet to become functional.

Dr.Dhir Singh, ADG(PFA)

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