Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety has missed the April 1 deadline for enforcing the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standard) Act which sets specific hygienic standards and mandates all alcoholic beverages to list all ingredients used in their label. The Commissionerate has requested the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to give six months' time to enforce the Act in the state.
An official said that the FSSAI has brought alcohol beverages under the Food Safety Act and issued a notification in 2018 directing all the states to enforce the new alcoholic beverages standards set in the Act. According to records, there are around 20 blending and bottling units in the state.
"Currently, we have only blending and bottling units in the state and we are already enforcing and monitoring hygiene standards at these centres. Spirit is brought from other states to these blending units," said an official.
The new Act mandates displaying of statutory warning that alcohol consumption is injurious to health, on the lines of the message displayed on cigarette packets. "The state is already enforcing the statutory warning on the labels. But the format mooted by the FSSAI is different and hence six months’ time has to be allotted for the manufacturers as a transition period. We hope the Centre will allot us more time as requested," said the official.
Also, according to official sources the government needs time to sort out the differences in the Kerala Abkari Act and the Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standard) Act. "Amendments have to be brought on the Abkari Act for the smooth implementation of the new beverages standards set by FSSAI," said the official....