Got a cockroach in your sandwich or misled by a food advert? Yes, you must be angry, asking for a refund or simply throwing the food packet in the garbage. But are you aware of the actions that you can take against these wrongdoings?
Though food safety in the western countries is of utmost importance, in India even consumers do not report such matters. Most would simply shoot an email to the distributor or manufacturer, most of the time which goes unread, or write a social media post. Though these might create a temporary furor, it will not give justice to you. We at Consumer Voice, try at every step to keep you abreast with your rights and try to educate you on the dos and don’ts.
Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006 has a set of regulations and mandates for manufacture, storage, import, sale, and distribution of any food product. You can file complaints on a variety of issues:
- Sale of packaged food items beyond their expiry/best before date
- Presence of dust particles, insects or fungus
- Issues related to adulteration
- Improper packing
- Incomplete information about food item or insufficient information on label
- Misleading advertisement
- Absence of detailed address of manufacturer/ marketer
- Absence of declaration of ingredients such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) if it is present in the food item
- Absence of warnings – such as ‘Not for phenylketonuria patients’ on the label of food that has artificial sweetener
How and Where to File the Complaint
Packaged Food or Food Premises
1. You can file your complaint online (https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/cmsweb/ ) or by downloading the Food Connect app from Google playstore.
2. Identify the category and click on it. It can be packaged food or food premises.
3. Identify the problem for packaged food or food premises
Submit the complaint with description and picture.
For Misleading Food Advertisements
For misleading advertisements you can contact the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the advertising industry’s self-regulating body that has the objective of regulating the content of advertisements.
1. Open the link https://www.ascionline.org/index.php/lodge-ur-complaints.html or download the app from Google playstore.
2. Fill your details and then your complaint.
3. Add a video of the advertisement if you can.
If any food or beverage advertisement is found to be misleading, then the advertisement shall be called off from all media channels.