The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has requested the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) to extend the timeline to implement the mentioning of FSSAI License number on bills for FBOs on the backdrop of the pandemic impact to Hospitality businesses.
The FSSAI in its recent directive mandated all the food businesses to mention the FSSAI License/Registration number on receipts/ invoices/ cash memo/ bills etc. from October 1, 2021 onward.
In a representation addressed to FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal, the FHRAI has requested the authority to take into consideration the COVID-19 affected industry’s on-going crisis and the additional expense burden that businesses would have to incur to implement new systems including the printing of new receipts, invoices, bills, cash memos and updating of the software and PMS.
“The FHRAI appreciates the FSSAI’s endeavour to set up a robust customer grievance system in the country. This will also improve the overall awareness of FSSAI and its underlying objectives of creating a safe and hygienic ecosystem for FBOs. While this is a great initiative, it has to be taken into account that at present, the tourism and hospitality is the most impacted sector by the COVID-19 pandemic. In all probabilities, it will be the last one to recover as well. During such times of deep crisis, the implementation of this order would entail a lot of additional expenses on businesses. Printing new receipts, invoices, bills, cash memos as well as updating software and PMS, among other ancillary activities will only burden the cash-strapped industry even more. Hence, we request the FSSAI to extend the timeline for implementation of the order until such time that some normalcy returns to the sector,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI in a statement.
The FSSAI notice also stated: “Consumers can visit the FSSAI’s portal and ‘Food Safety Connect’ app for accessing information about FSSAI license or registrations by inputting the 14 digit FSSAI License/Registration number.”
Adding: “If not mentioned, it shall indicate non-compliance or non-registration/licensing by the food business.”
The Hospitality industry is reeling under colossal financial damages caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are in massive debts and are in no position to undertake additional investments, the FHRAI has stated.
Kohli said: “The hospitality sector has always supported the FSSAI in its mission to ensure better quality and standards for food business. The FHRAI through its regional Associations has been at the forefront for organizing FSSAI’s FoSTaC training programmes across the country. We continue to provide our unwavering support to all the progressive endeavours of FSSAI.”
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at [email protected])