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Street Foods: A Comparison of Regulations in India and Elsewhere

Priyanka Sharma, Geeta Mathur, Nidhi K, Rakesh Kumar Khandal


Street foods are a significant contributor to food processing industries as they serve the ready to eat food of different varieties, tastes, flavors, functionalities and sensory characteristics. Since, street foods form the part of an unorganized sector involving a large number of manpower engaged in this business, this sector has high significance especially in the developing world including India. The quality of street foods especially related to food safety parameters, therefore, remains as a major cause of concern for regulating agencies. In order to ensure that street food vendors offer food that is fit and safe for human consumption, regulators issue guidelines for this purpose. Only when the street food vendors comply with the regulations set by the regulators, they are allowed to carry out their operations. Regulators of each country in the world frame their own policies and norms as per the local conditions of health, hygiene, environment, ecology, type of foods, types of processes of food preparation etc. Keeping all these aspects of street food, in India, FSSAI notified the regulations for street food in the year 2013. It is high time that a comprehensive study is carried out, comparing the regulations of FSSAI with those of other countries including also those from the developed world. The present study was undertaken to compare regulations of different countries (eight in number including India) for street foods. The aim was to understand the key aspects considered for the norms set for vendors to adhere to. The purpose was also to assess if there existed any gap areas between the regulations in India and elsewhere in the world. This study would therefore serve as a ready reference, for decision making, in case there is a need for improvements in norms or the guidelines of FSSAI. It would also provide the basis for the need for harmonization of standards for street foods, globally. The results of the study show that the issues involved with street food vendors vary a lot due to the food culture prevailing in different countries besides the type of food as well as method of cooking. Further, the nature of street foods in developed world is completely different from those in the developing world. What is found common in all the countries is the emphasis given to aspects related to food hygiene as well as sanitary and phytosanitary norms. It is also evident from this study that there is a need for learning from each other’s experiences and work for harmonization of standards and their compliance.


Street foods, food hygiene, ready to eat food, sanitary and phytosanitary, food quality, food safety and harmonization of standards.

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