Pure Food Ordinance, 1960 (hereinafter referred as “the Ordinance”) and Pure Food Rules, 1965 (hereinafter referred as “the Rules”) are the basic laws which govern the preparation and sale of foods in the Pakistan. Before going further it will be better to ascertain what does food mean under the Ordinance?
As per section 2 sub section 9 “food” means any article used as food or drink for human consumption other than drugs, and includes:
- Any substance which is intended for use in the composition or preparation of food
- Any flavoring matter or condiment
- Any coloring matter intended for use in food
- Chewing gum and other products of the like nature
- Water in any form, including ice, intended for human consumption or for use in the composition or preparation of food.
Licensing Requirements for Food Business in Pakistan
Section 11 of the ordinance deals with the license for manufacturing, storage and sale of food goods. Under the said section, license is required for any place to use:
- For the preparation, or the manufacturing, processing, blending, preserving, refrigerating, canning or bottling of any food
- For the business of a wholesale dealer in banaspati, charbi, ghee, margarine, fish-oil, mustard-oil, cotton-seed oil, or other edible oils and such food as may be prescribed.
- As a creamy, dairy or bakery
- As a hotel, restaurant or eating house
To obtain license applicant shall apply in writing to the Licensing Authority (in most cases concerned District Health Officer) stating the purpose for which the place is intended to be used and shall submit block plans in triplicate showing:
- The actual area so intended to be used
- The location at which the various operation connected therewith are to be carried on
Application for the grant of license should be accompanied by a fee of rupees ten for the premises falls under the below categories:
- Premises for the business of whole-sale dealers in Margarine, Vanaspati, Charbini, Ghee Fish oil, Edible oils, Spices, Confectionery, Cereal Products, Soft Drinks, Aerated Water and Cold Storage.
- Creamerics, Dairies, Dairy Farms, Bakeries, Hotels, Eating Houses and other small scale food manufacturing concerns.
And rupees twenty five for the premises falls under the below categories:
- Pasteurized milk, milk powder, condensed and evaporated milk, cheese and any other milk products
- Edible oils, margarine and vanaspati
- Canned foods
- Alcoholic drinks and beverages
- Bottling factories
- Sugar factories
- Cereal products
On receipt of such applications and plans the Public Analyst concerned or the District Health Officer /Municipal Medical Officer of Health, as the case may be, shall inspect the said place and recommend the issue of the necessary license in Form 8 (attached herewith) which should be displayed in a prominent place within the licensed premises. License will only be issued if the said place conforms to the following requirements for sale or manufacture of food:
The application should be accompanied by a site plan and a plan showing the building and structure. The building for housing the plant has the following:
- Floors constructed of concrete or other impervious material, smooth, provided with trapped drains, clean and in good repairs
- Walls and ceilings have a smooth, washable light colored surface, clean and in good repair
- Doors and windows provided with effective means to prevent the access of flies and to screen the outer-air, the doors shall be self-closing
- Lighting on all working surfaces shall be adequate
- Ventilation sufficient to avoid smoke and odors condensing on structures and on equipment
- Effective means for protection from contamination from insects and rodents
- Toilet rooms wherever provided shall bear a sign and self closing doors, not opening into any rooms used for handling or storing of food
- Water-supply easily accessible, adequate and of a safe sanitary quality
- Convenient hand-washing facilities with running water, soap and towels
- Cold storage facilities for perishable articles
Licensing authority may reject the application upon non-satisfaction from the application. In such a case applicant may file appeal to the concerned government. Each such appeal shall be accompanied by a fee of Rs. 100.
Special License Conditions for Butter or Ghee Factory in Pakistan
- The licensee shall not keep Ghee or permit to be kept outside premises or on the public road or street.
- No oil, margarine, vegetable products, paraffin, fat, Vasa or Charbi or other substance capable of being used for the adulteration or Ghee shall be kept on the premises.
- No essences or Glouring matters likely to give resemblance to Ghee shall be kept on the premises.
- The premises shall not form part of or communicate otherwise than by a Public Street with any other premises upon which is kept any of the substances provided in sub condition above.
- All butter brought to the premises for being manufactured into ghee shall, until actually required for such manufacture, be stored in room separate from the room or rooms in which the process of manufacturing, packing, pressing, cleaning or preparation are carried on.
- All stored butter shall be kept in properly covered metal or glass or glazed ware receptacles.
- The process of melting shall be carried out in properly constructed fire-place provided with a suitable flue
- The labels used for skimming the refuse matters from the surface of the melted butter must at all times be kept in a clean state and must not be placed on the floor but on a suitable shelf or table provided for the purpose in close proximity to the fire place and such shelf or table must be maintained in a clean condition.
- The licensee shall not keep, handle or sell any butter under any condition which renders the said butter liable to contamination.
- All coal, coke or firewood or liquid fuel to be used in the process of melting butter shall be kept in suitable receptacles and not loose
Special License Condition for Vanaspati, Margarine and Charbini in Pakistan
There are some special conditions for butter or ghee factory which have to be followed by licensee. These conditions are provided below:
- No substances capable of being used for the adulteration of Margarine, Vanaspati, or Charbi shall be kept in the premises.
- Margarine, Vanaspati, or Charbi kept on the premises shall be conspicuously labeled marked.
- The premises shall not form a part of or communicate, otherwise than by a public street, with any premises upon which is kept any of the substances capable of being used for the adulteration
Special License Condition for Condensed Milk or Dried Milk etc in Pakistan
There are some special conditions for condensed milk or dried milk which have to be followed by licensee. These conditions are provided below:
- The licensee shall not keep or store on the premises any condensed or dried milk or dried skimmed milk or any preservative or any other substances capable of being used as an adulterant.
Conditions & License for Approval of a Plant for Pasteurization / Sterilization in Pakistan
All type of Pasteurize / Sterilizer shall hold
- Indicating thermometer of approved accuracy
- Recording thermometer pf approved temperature and time accuracy
- Phosphate test kit for determine pasteurization efficiency in field and plant laboratory
- Air space thermometer
- Leak-protector inlet/outlet and diversion valves
- Bottle washers
- Plant sanitation equipment
All continuance pasteurizers / sterilizers shall have
- Indicating thermometers on pipelines
- Milk flow stop, controllers and Diversion Lines
- Automatic holder heaters
- Recorder controllers
- Automatic vat or pocket holders
- Continuous flow holders
- Back flow prevention devices
- Automatic time/temperature/holding recorder
All type of Pasteurization/Sterilization plants shall
- Use “Sanitary Milk Piping” for conducting milk. The piping shall be easy to clean
- Use multi-use containers and equipment made of non-corrodible, non-tox material and so located as to be easily cleaned
- Preserve recordings of automatic equipment for at least six months
- Maintain vehicles for the transportation of milk
- Maintain well equipped and adequately staffed laboratories for the daily examination of milk
- Undertake to exclude the milk supply in respect of which reasonable cause exists to suspect the possibility of infection contamination
Special Conditions for the Manufacturing of Pasteurized / Sterilized Milk in Pakistan
- The milk has been retained at a temperature of not less than 143°F for at least 15 seconds continuously and has been cooled immediately to a temperature of not more than 40°F in a plant approved for the purpose
- The milk has been retained at such temperature for such period as specified by the Director General of health, Pakistan
- The milk shows efficient pasteurization as evidenced by satisfactory negative phosphate test
- The milk does not show a coli-form count exceeding 10 per milliliter, at any time after pasteurization and before delivery to the consumer
According to the rule 22 (2), no person shall designate milk as “Sterilized” unless he complies with the following conditions:
- The milk has been filtered or clarified and homogenized
- The milk has been heated to and maintained at such a temperature, not less than 212°F for such a period as to ensure that it will comply with prescribed Turbidity Test.
- The milk has been treated as above in such a manner that on completion of the treatment, the receptacle was sealed with an air tight seal.
- The processing has been done in a plaint approved for the purpose in a licensed premise.
- The milk shows efficient sterilization at any processing and before delivery to the consumer as evidenced by a satisfactory Turbidity Test.
Special License Conditions for Milk & Dairy Products in Pakistan
No person shall offer or keep in possession for sale or deliver for sale or supply to an person:
- Impure or unwholesome milk or milk drawn from animals affected with any disease of livestock whether contagious, infectious or otherwise capable of causing the milk to become unwholesome.
- Milk drawn from animals within thirty days before or ten days after pasteurization, or for butter, curd or cheese making.
Labeling and Packaging Requirements of Pre-Packed Food in Pakistan
Under the ordinance and rules, there are also some requirements / conditions for labeling and packaging of pre-packed food which have to be followed. According to rule 13 (1) no person shall sell by retail or display for sale by retail , any pre-packed food, unless there appears on a label marked on or securely attended to the wrapper or container a true statement which:
- Shall be clearly legible and shall appear conspicuously and in a prominent position on the label and if the food is pre-packed in more than one wrapper or container, the label shall be marked on or attached to the innermost wrapper or container and if it is not clearly legible through the outermost wrapper or container a label bearing a like statement shall be marked on or securely attached to or be clearly legible through, the outermost wrapper or container. For the purpose of this clause a plain immediate wrapping which under ordinary conditions of use would not be moved from the next outer wrapper or container shall not be counted as a wrapper or container.
- Shall specify the name of either the packer or the labeler of the food and an address at which such person carries on business.
- Shall also specify; in the case of food consisting of one ingredients, the appropriate designation of the ingredients
- Shall also specify; in the case of food made of two or more ingredients, the common or usual name (if any) of the food and the appropriate designation of each ingredient and unless the quality or proportion of each ingredient is specified, the ingredients shall be specified in the order of the proportion in which they were used, the ingredients used in the greatest proportion (by weight) being specified first.
- It shall not be necessary to state that the food contains water
- Where a food contains an ingredient which is made from two or more constituents, the appropriate designation of these constituents shall be so specified that it shall not be necessary to specify the appropriate designation of that ingredient. For the purpose of this clause “appropriate designation” means a name or description, which shall indicate to a prospective purchaser the true nature of the ingredient or constituent to which it is applied.
- Shall specify the minimum quantity of the food in the wrapper or container expressed in terms either of net weight or of measure
As per section 12 of the ordinance, every occupier of a place used for the preparation or manufacture for purposes of trade of any article of food and every wholesale dealer or his agent who stores any such article shall keep and maintain a register and such register shall be open to inspection by the inspector.