To strengthen the food safety surveillance system, FSSAI has envisaged audits of Food Business Operators through private auditing agencies. A Draft Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2017, FSSAI has been prepared for the same. In accordance with the draft regulation, FSSAI has now provisionally recognised 15 food safety auditing agencies to create a pool of auditing agencies that could be used for audit of some food businesses as decided by FSSAI. The experience and feedback obtained would be used while finalizing the regulations in this regard.

Presently, the provisionally recognised auditing agencies will only be engaged by FSSAI to audit some food businesses as decided by the FSSAI from time to time. Once the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Food Safety Auditing) Regulations, 2017 after considering the comments from relevant stakeholders, is finally vetted and notified, the food authority shall from time to time specify the category of food businesses which shall be liable for mandatory audits. The classification will be based on factors like Food type, Intended Customer use, nature of activity of the business, Volume of the business & Method of processing/any other factors prescribed by Food Authority. Food businesses which are not subject to mandatory Food Safety auditing can also conform to auditing of their businesses on voluntary basis. This will encourage self compliance.

Food Businesses having undergone satisfactory audits will be subjected to less frequent audits by Central or State licensing authorities. Hence, Third party Food Safety Audits will reduce the burden on the regulatory inspections conducted by Central or State Licensing Authorities while at the same time assuring safe food to the consumers.