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Standards for beer, whiskey & all alcoholic drinks planned: FSSAI

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The draft notification is expected by August ’15 & will encompass all alcohol & alcoholic beverages.

The FSSAI has plans to set up standards for all alcohol & alcoholic drinks including beer and whiskey. It will come up with a draft notification on the standards of alcoholic beverages in next two months.

“Work is going on to prepare standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages, in next two months the FSSAI will come up with draft notification seeking comments from the public,” a senior official told PTI.

Among the drinks, whiskey, vodka, gin, beer and even breezer will come under the proposed standards, the official said. Earlier this year, a meeting of the Central Advisory Committee had also discussed having standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages.

“The Food Safety and Standards Act (2006) considers alcoholic beverages as food and therefore all beer, wine, cider, spirits are covered under the Act. This new issue could be with liquor being produced without any FSSAI guidelines or license,” said Rahul Singh, NRAI’s chapter head for Gurgaon and the coach & founder, BTB Marketing (The Beer Cafe).

These draft norms were put up for public comments on May 29 and the deadline ends on August 1.

It was decided that once standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages were finalised it shall be intimated to all states and UTs so that they may suitably advise the respective excise departments. In terms of packaging, FSSAI has already proposed that alcoholic beverages, pan masala and supari may not be treated as “unsafe food” for recall just because they carry a mandatory warning on their covers.

It is mentioned on pan masala, supari and liquor that their consumption is injurious to health.

Among the drinks, whiskey, vodka, gin, beer and even breezer will come under the proposed standards. The proposal has been made in the Safety and Standards (Food Recall Procedure) Regulations, 2015, which has been put up for public comments.

“In the case of alcoholic beverages, pan masala, supari, the mandatory mention of warning ‘consumption of alcohol/pan masala/supari is injurious to health’ may not be treated as unsafe food as part of any recall plan unless the beverage or food is determined unsafe as per the classification of recall making it injurious to health or even causing death,” the proposal said.

Source: The Hindu/NRAI

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