Zomato has started de-listing restaurants that are not compliant with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulations from its online ordering platform. The move was announced by the company’s founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal in a blog post. With over 50,000 restaurants listed on its food delivery platform, Zomato has already de-listed hundreds of them, Goyal said.

Zomato explained that once a delisted restaurant provides its FSSAI licence, it will be re-listed on the platform. It also said that restaurants which do not possess the license, but have high ratings or high repeat orders on its platform will be given time until the end of September to furnish their licenses.

FSSAI strict on implementing guidelines

The move comes after the regulator, in July, directed ten food delivery companies to delist non-FSSAI licensed restaurants from their platforms by July 31. However, the deadline was extended to the end of September as delivery companies assured compliance, but sought additional time to do so, according to an ET report citing FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal. He expects that about 90-95% of all restaurants comply by the end of September, the report added. To put things in perspective, currently, only 30-40% of restaurants on food delivery platforms are not complaint with the FSSAI’s requirements, Kumar said. Out of these restaurants also, he pointed out, many of them have already applied for the license, but do not possess it yet because the applications were submitted only a short time back.

Prior to that, FSSAI had made it mandatory for e-Commerce Food Business Operators (FBOs) to not just display the FSSAI license numbers of all listed food operators on their platforms, but also the agreement between both the parties which states their consent to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Act, Rules and Regulations.

Zomato’s prime competitor in the sector, Swiggy has reportedly began a similar de-listing process in July, soon after the FSSAI issued the notice, according to a report by ET. Swiggy has over 40,000 restaurants listed on the platform. MediaNama reached out to multiple food delivery companies for a comment on their de-listing status, however, we haven’t received any replies at the time of publishing.