FSSAI Regulation on Veg and Non-Veg Food Mark

FSSAI Regulation on Veg and Non-Veg Food Mark
19 April 2022

FSSAI Regulation on Veg and Non-Veg Food Mark


Covid-19 has taught us how food habits can seriously affect our body and to take a healthy diet is utmost important. Poor diet is the major response to the incidence of such non- communicable diseases and pandemics. Therefore, not only individuals but food regulators as well as the State have to take serious steps regarding food manufacturing, packaging, labeling, distribution, warehousing etc.

Food Safety Standards Authority of India is the Apex Authority for regulation of Food Operators in the country. Vide Section 92(2)(k) and Sec. 23 of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, FSSAI has made Food Safety And Standards (Packaging And Labeling) Regulations, 2011 which came into force on and after 5th August 2011. It guides about food packaging and labeling provisions for ease and awareness of consumers for composition of food and better decision making regarding their food choice.

Though food has no religion but still in countries like ours which are so value and culture-oriented, food habits are integral part of culture and religion. On the basis of food habits, people have vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets.

As defined under the above-mentioned regulation, “Non- Vegetarian Food” means an article of food which contains whole or part of any animal including birds, freshwater or marine animals or eggs or products of any animal origin, but excluding milk or milk products, as an ingredient; and “Vegetarian Food” means any article of food other than ‘Non- Vegetarian Food’ as defined in regulation.

Some highlights of this regulation are-

1. Necessary labeling requirements, such as information on allergens and the logo for vegetarian and non-vegetarian based foods, etc. It is applied on pre-packaged food as well.

2. Nutritional information may also be provided in the form of a barcode/
Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN).

3. New vegetarian food logo consisting of a green filled circle in a green outlined square to attract color blind people

4. Any packaging of food material not intended for human consumption must bear a symbol to clearly distinguish it -food grade items from food items. \

5. An internal mechanism for handling problems arising from the implementation/interpretation of standards.

Let us go through the specific provision for labeling of food products, both veg & non-veg.

Under Chapter 2, Section 4 of the Regulation, it is clearly mentioned that-

Packed food products should bear a mark or symbol or a color code so that consumers come to know about ingredients of the food, its composition and then make an informed choice. It should be noted that it does not apply on packaged drinking water or carbonated water or alcoholic drinks, or liquid milk and milk powders.

1. Every package of “Non Vegetarian” food shall bear a declaration to this effect made by a symbol and color filled circle having a diameter not less than the minimum size specified in the Table mentioned in the regulation and inside a square with brown outline having sides double the diameter of the circle;

2. Any food which contains only egg as an ingredient, then it is the duty of the manufacturer ,packer or seller to give specific declaration along with this brown color symbol;

3. For Vegetarian food packages declaration along with a symbol of green color filled circle, having a diameter not less than the minimum size specified in the Table.

Regulation also mentions ‘Area of Principal Display’ and ‘minimum size of the diameter’ in ‘mm’. Area covered should be around 100cms till 2500cms and diameter should be around 3 mm to 8 mm depending on the size of the food packet.

Where can we find the mark on the food packets?

The mark shall be prominently displayed on the packaging-

1. Which has a contrasting background on the main display panel;

2. Next to the name or brand of the product;

3. On labels, packaging, brochures, leaflets, advertisements in any media;