In the article, Is it safe to start a meat startup in India? Ashish talked about the emotional aspect of meat, ruining the business, but if one were to take it at the face value, all of the actions talk about “closing illegal slaughter houses”. And this could actually help.
Most of the meat consumed in India comes fresh from the neighborhood butchery which neither maintains any hygiene, or storage practices. Most of them are not licensed. With FSSAI in place, obtaining a license would require them follow the mandated good manufacturing practices and good hygiene practices, the knowledge for which is lacking in the roadside slaughter houses. This would mean a certain amount of market consolidation and movement towards the organized players.
Sooner or later, as part of the crackdown, the hygiene and health aspect of this is sure to start getting highlighted. This will be done by the establishments to justify the cleanup and will be countered by the meat producers associations to prevent the customers from moving away from meat. This will raise general awareness on food safety amongst the consumers and move them to products with proven supply chain for such a high risk food product.
However, the uncertainty on whether FSSAI will be able to rise up to the occasion to enforce the requirements is questionable. The problem at hand is just too huge, and the enforcement officers have neither the competence nor the willingness to clean up the system. It has been over 6 months since the last date to register all food establishments with FSSAI expired (4th August 2016 was the last date), yet food continues to packaged and sold without establishments having a license.
Disclosure: Ramesh is a Consultant at Quality & Food Safety Consultants, that helps companies meet food safety requirements for their establishments in the food chain. He can be reached at email@example.com