As per a new industry norm, all Indian sweets must now have a ‘best before’ date mentioned with the product. Coming into force on 1 October, it means the shopkeeper has to inform the customer the last date by which the dessert will remain edible.
However, it will not be mandatory to write the date of manufacture of the product, as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has left it to the will of the manufacturers.
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According to Federation of Sweets and Namkeen Manufactures (FSNM) director Feroze Naqvi, this has brought great relief to the confectioners, but will also face difficulties in writing ‘Best before date’ as it is not practical.
In a 25 September order, the FSSAI has made it mandatory from 1 October to write ‘Best before date’ on sweets plates in shops for the open sale of sweets, but there will be no restriction on the date for making sweets. The FSSAI has stated in the order that it would be optional to write the date of making.
“FSSAI has accepted half of our point that it is no longer mandatory for us to write a manufacturing date. However, the best before date will be effective from October 1. However, we are also in talks on this. We have put our problems in front of the FSSAI,” Naqvi explained.
He said that printing the best before date for sweets is not practical as there is a large range of sweets on which it would be difficult to change the date repeatedly. The order regarding the open sale of sweets came in February, which was extended twice in the coronavirus period, but now from 1 October, it has been made mandatory to write the best before date on sweets packs.
This order of FSSAI is only for the open sale of sweets. Naqvi said that this order will be applicable for unpacked sweets whereas for food items like packaged sweets and namkeen, it is mandatory to write the period of manufacture and the date till it is best for the consumption.