State-Wide ‘Operation FOSCOs’ Set for September 15 to Ensure Food Safety Compliance

Health Minister Veena George has announced a state-wide initiative called ‘Operation FOSCOs,’ led by the Food Safety Department, scheduled for September 15. This operation aims to thoroughly inspect and verify licenses for various establishments. The primary goal is to ensure that all food entrepreneurs hold valid food safety licenses. The minister has also emphasized the need for expeditious processing of applications for food safety licenses.

As per Section 31 of the Food Safety Quality Act of 2006, all food operators are obligated to obtain a food safety license. Only self-made food vendors, small-scale retailers, street vendors, wheelbarrow vendors, and temporary vendors can operate with registration permission. Establishments with employees must obtain a license. However, stricter checks are being implemented because many businesses have been operating with only registration instead of acquiring a license.

Operating food establishments without a food safety license is a punishable offense under Section 63 of the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2006. Stringent actions will be taken against those operating without a proper license and relying solely on registration. Businesses found to be operating without a food safety license or using food safety registration in place of a license may face consequences, including closure. Applications for licenses can be submitted through the portal, with a fee of Rs 2000 for one year of regular licenses.

The Food Safety Department has consistently urged food-selling establishments to obtain the necessary licenses before operating. Given the legal obligation, the department is now taking decisive actions against those who have neglected to obtain a license and operate without one. Establishments facing closure due to the absence of a license are urged to comply by either obtaining a license or formally submitting a comprehensive license application.

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