Companies have to print ‘Best before’ or ‘Use by the date’ on a label of pre-packaged food items that have potential short shelf life, the government informed Parliament today. A new provision in this regard has been inserted in the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
According to the new rule, the ‘best before or use by the date, month and year’ should also be mentioned on the label if a package contains a commodity that may become unfit for human consumption after a period of time. It also said “nothing in this clause shall apply if a provision in this regard is made in any other law”. A circular was also issued on June 23, the minister said. On e-coding , Chaudhary said this facility is “optional and not mandatory” for the industries.
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This is proposed to be given to the industries to ensure the commodity is correct in quantity and declarations. On declarations on items sold via e-commerce platforms, the minister said the e-commerce companies are required to ensure mandatory declarations — name, address of manufacturer or packer or importer, name of the commodity, net quantity and MRP and consumer care details. He also said the font size of numerals printed on pre- packaged commodities has been increased and this will come into force from January 1, 2018. Those violating these rules will be liable to face penalty under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009, he added.