Do you know that most of the diseases are caused due to eating the wrong food products? Many studies suggest that people in India mainly suffer due to unhealthy and unhygienic food. Therefore, it’s a matter of extreme concern for all of us; and hence, we must pay attention to a few crucial things while buying foods. The most important thing one must look for is if your seller has the required FSSAI License. Why? Let’s discuss this.
FSSAI license ensures that the food we consume is hygienic and good to consume. Basically, you can check for FSSAI number which 14-digit numeric code displayed on the package of the food items. It is issued by the FSSAI Department- an authority responsible for ensuring the safety of public health.
Apart from this, there are a number of other things that one must look out for before consuming any food items. We will discuss the same in this blog. So stay here and keep reading.
Five crucial things to consider before buying any food products
Mostly, we have the habit of buying things in a hurry. As a result, we forget to look into the essential details of the items we purchase. In case you have bought something which is out of date it will surely harm you. Therefore, we suggest you never buy anything in a hurry and blindfolded. Look for the critical information and then purchase it.
Here are a few things we have listed to help you with choosing the right food products for yourself and your family:
1. FSSAI license number
FSSAI license number is a 14-digit license number which is obtained by every food business operator (FBO) irrespective of their business size and the scale of operation.
FSSAI stands for the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. It's an autonomous body established under the FSS Act, 2006 and the Ministry of Health &Family Welfare. The body is accountable for protecting and promoting public health via the supervision and regulation of food safety.
The FSSAI License Number is divided into five different sections. Each section represents different information about the FBO which distinguishes it from others. Let's find out which section indicates what.
- Section 1 (1st Digit):- It provides information regarding the status of registration of that particular food business. It describes whether the business is registered or not.
- Section 2 (Digits 2 & 3):- It represents the state code of the food business where it is operational.
- Section 3 (Digits 4 & 5):- It indicates the year of manufacture of that specific food item.
- Section 4 (Digits 6, 7, & 8):- It provides information on the quantity of enrolling master.
- Section 5 (Digits 9-14):- It described the permit number of the maker.
2. The Expiry Date or Best Use Before Date of the food item
It’s quite often seen that in a rush, we forget to see the manufacturing or expiry date of the food item. But do you have any idea of how much it can affect you and your dear ones? The main purpose of mentioning the expiry date on the food products is to aware people that the food item is no more appropriate to eat or drink.
Now the biggest confusion arises between the expiry date and best use before date. Generally, people think that both are the same thing. However, there's a slight difference between both. Let’s find out what they mean.
- Expiry date:- The expiry date defines the last day the food item is fit to consume. If the expiration date of the food product has been achieved, it is recommended not to use it. The reason for the same is that the item loses its microbiological and physical stability. Furthermore, the nutrient content demonstrated on the packaging is also not effective anymore.
- Best use before date:- It guarantees specific properties of the item to be effective until this date. Once the product has reached its best use before date, it may lose its taste, freshness, aroma, or nutrients. However, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that the food is no longer safe to consume. But to discover whether the food is still edible to eat, one can check it on his/her senses .i.e. through smell, sight, and taste.
3. Nutritional value of the food item
The labels regarding the nutritional value of the food portray the nutrition content of a specific food product. The detail includes the number of servings in the packet, serving size, calories per serving, and the amount of several nutrients contained in the food item. If you have knowledge about these labels, these can help you as well as your family follow a healthy diet. Furthermore, it makes it easy for you to choose the food which has more nutrition content.
According to some studies, it is expected that nutrition labels really do have some impact on people’s food choices. Therefore, when you have to make choices between two distinct food products, you need to check the nutritional contents to verify which food is more nutritious. Besides, you can compare the labels to find out which foods are lowest in cholesterol, sugar, calories, sodium, fat, trans fat, and saturated fat.
4. Check for Ingredients
Do you know that checking for ingredients in your food is more necessary than checking for the calorie content in it? If you don't know, then we will tell you how and why.
Generally, in the quest to get healthy and whole-grain foods, we forget those alluring words written on the item are harmful. Most of the time, we go for sugar-free products. After the removal of sugar, the manufacturers add some harmful chemicals to retain the taste and aroma of that specific food. Hence, for the sake of maintaining the flavor and/or consistency, mostly, these fat-free and sugar-free foods become the unhealthiest option.
Apart from this, we might have allergies from some of the ingredients used in the items. Hence, checking the ingredients before buying the food product is always recommendable.
5. Whether Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian
Obviously, there are many of us who don't eat non-vegetarian foods due to various reasons. These may include due to religious purposes, or even a few people have allergies from the same. Hence, whenever you shop for food items, do check for the green mark on the food packets if you are a vegetarian. The green dot on the item represents that the food is completely vegetarian. However, the red mark on the food item represents the food to be non-vegetarian. Hence, checking whether the food item is vegetarian or non-vegetarian is also important.