India’s Food Safety Watchdog to set Liquor Standards

Published Date : Jul 20, 2015

With the aim of setting standards for alcoholic beverages including beer, whiskey, and rum among others, India’s central food safety watchdog Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning to issue a draft notification in the next few weeks.

A source said that the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will be coming forth with a draft notification on alcoholic beverages standards within the next 45 days. It was earlier decided that after the standards for alcohol and alcoholic drinks are finalized, they will be intimated to all states and union territories in order to enable authorities to suitably advise the excise departments in the respective states and UTs.

A source close to the matter revealed that work has been going on to get the standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages ready. The drinks will be broadly categorized under to heads – one for beverages with high alcohol content such as whiskey and the other for beverages that contain lesser amounts of alcohol, such as beer. 

Other alcoholic beverages such as brandy, vodka, and gin will also fall under the proposed liquor standards. A meeting of the Central Advisory Committee held a meeting earlier this year to discuss the need for standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The Food Safety Standards Authority of India has already proposed that pan masala, alcoholic beverages, and supari cannot be considered as “unsafe” for recall, only because they carry a mandatory statutory warning on the pack. 

This proposal has been submitted in the Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulations of 2015 and has been put up for public opinion and feedback. These draft norms were opened for public feedback on May 29 and will close on August 1.

The Food Safety Standards Authority of India is a central body that lays down standards for food and its manufacturing, distribution, sale, storage, and import to ensure that it is safe for human consumption.