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.
Read more about: Food Connect App
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. Read More about Misleading Food Advertisements
Comparative Product Testing of Food Products done by Consumer VOICE
Consumer VOICE regularly tests food products to check the authenticity of purity claims of various brands. Tests are done at NABL accredited labs as per the specifications and parameters defined by FSS Regulations and India Standards. Comparative Product Testing reports give you the actual values of energy, protein, calcium, iodine, vitamins, fatty acids, moisture and much more. Presence of insoluble impurities, foreign matter and adulteration is also reported. You will also find the safer limits of each parameter. Basis the tests, Consumer VOICE experts suggest the Best brands along with Value for Money. For detailed Comparative Product Testing methodology, click here.
Test Reports of:
- Milk and Milk Products: Toned Milk | Fresh Paneer | Curd | Dairy Whitener
- Cooking Oil: Ground Nut Oil | Sunflower Oil | Rice Bran Oil | Loose Edible Oil
- Ghee: Desi Ghee | Cow Ghee
- Grains: Basmati Rice | Whole Wheat Flour
- Packaged Water: 20 Lt. Can| 1 Lt. Bottle
- Bread | Rusk | Muesli
- Sugar | Glucose Powder
- Black Tea
CONSUMER VOICE LEGAL HELPDESK
If you find yourself vulnerable and cheated and need legal advice related to consumer laws and pursue litigation, our Legal experts will provide step-by-step consumer law assistance.
You might like to read:
- Most Common Food Adulterants and Harmful Effects Of Food Adulteration
- Food Adulteration Home Tests
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 and Food Safety and Standards Act 2006
- How to report a problem with food on the Food Safety Connect Application (App)
- How to complain or report about a misleading food advertisement