Let's be honest "your food is on its way" is one of the happiest notification that a food business can send to their customers. Generating revenue with the help of the internet and online orders, great reviews leading to the increased outreach of restaurants has made for a blissful time for food-based businesses. Swiggy, Zomato, UberEats, Foodpanda are all a means to end providing best quality cuisine to your customers in remote locations.
However, it would be a shame if a restaurant would lose valuable customers because of unsafe standards of food. FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has instructed the major food delivery services to delist restaurants not having FSSAI license. This directive was issued in July of 2018.
The issue of the food safety arose because of the spike in the frequency of complaints from customers of these food delivery apps bemoaning sub-standard and potentially health-endangering food. Unsafe ingredients, unhygienic preparation environment, improper handling of food items are all things a food restaurant should be wary of or else it could lead to FSSAI license being rejected and ultimately losing a huge client base from apps like Zomato, Swiggy, UberEats and, Foodpanda.
Swift Action being taken to ensure food safety
In the quest for providing a comprehensive list of available food outlets to customers, these food delivery apps sign up most of the restaurants on their respective platforms without checking for appropriate FSSAI licenses. However, this methodology is undergoing a massive change with the directive from FSSAI.
Zomato, one of the top food delivery apps in India has taken proactive measures and already delisted dozens of restaurants from its platforms. CEO of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal assures that these restaurants will be back to order online from once they have their FSSAI licenses. Zomato has also taken measures to help their highest-valued restaurants with inappropriate FSSAI registration by requesting a deadline extension. The previous deadline was set at the 31st of July but has now be moved down to end-September.
Swiggy was not far behind, with the food delivery app de-listing many unregistered restaurants from their platform as well. Swiggy however, was also extremely helpful towards restaurants when they set up FSSAI assist programs to help these institutions acquire their FSSAI licensing.
FSSAI serious about Safety of Products from Delivery Apps
Food safety is not a matter to be taken lightly since it could not only be a health hazard to individuals but it could lead to mass epidemics. FSSAI has ensured disgruntled customers of the food-delivery apps that more than 90-95% of businesses will be compliant with their food safety standards by the end of September 2018. Currently, an estimated 30-40% of the restaurants on these platforms appear to be in non-compliance with the directive for acquiring FSSAI license.
The regulatory body of FSSAI has also employed the services of an external audit-firm to help with carrying out safety checks across the restaurants listed in the food-delivery platforms. FSSAI has also requested for the likes of Swiggy, Zomato to integrate hygiene ratings in their platforms. Swiggy has replicated the understanding of the gravity of the situation by deploying the services of Equinox Labs, A FSSAI accredited food-auditing firm. As of this day, Swiggy and Zomato have 40,000 and 50,000 restaurants respectively under their platforms which could result in over-extension in the time frame of applying this policy but one thing is for sure the government will not put up with unsafe food practices or platforms that help in the sale of such products.
“This article has been contributed by Hardik Vats who is a content writer with LegalRaasta. Legal Raasta is an online portal that assists companies and startups with company registration, GST registration, Food License, Trademark registration.”