Sweet sellers in Odisha have opposed the 'best before date' rule issued by FSSAI from October 1. [Photo/ANI]
Sweet sellers in Odisha have opposed the 'best before date' rule issued by FSSAI from October 1. [Photo/ANI]

Sweet sellers in Odisha demand withdrawal of FSSAI's 'best before date' rule

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2020 06:54 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 3 (ANI): The confectioners in Odisha have opposed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) 'best before date' rule on sweets, demanding the withdrawal of the guideline which came into effect from October 1.
The leading association of sweet makers in the state, Utkal Mistanna Byabsayee Sangh (UMBS) held a meeting with its members to discuss the issue and for placing their demand for the withdrawal of the rules before the FSSAI, state government and the Food Commissioner.
Bimbadhar Behera, President, Utkal Mistanna Byabsayee Sangh, Odisha said, "It is practically impossible to mention the dates of "manufacturing" as well as "best before" on trays due to various reasons. Most importantly, the range of sweets displayed on the counter is vast. It is a traditional industry where many of the manufacturers are not that educated, especially in smaller towns. These manufacturers have been making sweets since ages and are very popular for their delicacies in each city and region of the state."

"Odisha is a big state with many regional tastes, preferences and climatic zones. Each of the local delicacies has its shelf life and manufacturing practice. If a sweet is made at a place and sold to a retailer at another place then it will have its own challenges. According to the Indian labelling law, loose food products such as sweets, milk and milk products, veggies and fruits, eggs, etc are kept out of the purview of putting the date of manufacturing or best before date," he added
Behera further said that 95 per cent of their products are prepared from cottage cheese (chhena) and pure milk. Therefore, it is difficult to maintain the order regarding the best before date.
Raising his concerns regarding COVID-19 outbreak, he said that sweet manufacturers have faced heavy losses and this has resulted in a state of uncertainty in this unorganised industry. As per the COVID-19 guidelines, sweet vendors do not have enough manpower to fulfill the rules set up by the FSSAI, he said.
Food regulator FSSAI has made it mandatory for confectioners to display "best before date" of non-packaged sweets as part of its efforts to ensure food safety.
In a letter to the commissioner of food safety of all states and Union Territories, FSSAI recently noted that "...in the public interest and to ensure food safety, it has been decided that in case of non-packaged/ loose sweets, the container/tray holding sweets at the outlet for sale should display the 'Best Before Date' of the product mandatorily with effect from October 1, 2020." (ANI)