In the era of social media, viral stories circulated about frozen food sellers who received fines for not having a distribution permit from the Food and Drug Administration (BPOM). In fact, some of them are said to have had to deal with the police.
This situation is a source of concern for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) engaged in frozen food production. They are afraid that they will be subject to severe legal sanctions.
The Head of BPOM, Penny K. Lukito, explained that not all frozen food products must be licensed by BPOM. There are several criteria that must be met by frozen food businesses so that their products can legally circulate in the market.
Let’s discuss these criteria:
1. Expiration Period of More than 7 Days
According to Penny, frozen food products that must have a distribution permit from BPOM are products with an expiration period of more than 7 days. Therefore, it is important for manufacturers to include the production date and expiration date on their frozen food products. This is an important requirement to obtain a BPOM license.
2. Expiration Period Less than 7 Days
On the other hand, if a frozen food product has an expiration date of less than 7 days, the manufacturer is not required to register the product with BPOM. However, BPOM urges manufacturers to still label their products with a distribution permit from the local government health office. This will provide additional security for consumers regarding the quality and safety of the product.
3. Direct Orders Do Not Require a Distribution Permit
Frozen food that is mass-produced and distributed by formal distributors must have a distribution permit from BPOM. However, for MSME players who receive orders and send their products directly to the customer, a distribution permit from BPOM is not required.
Chairman of the Indonesian MSME Association (Akumindo), Ikhsan Ingratubun, criticized the lack of coordination between the government and the police regarding frozen food distribution permits. He argued that if there was synchronization between the government and law enforcement, then this issue would not be this big.
Ikhsan also believes that the government has not done enough socialization to MSME players about the importance of the BPOM distribution permit and the Household Industry Food (PIRT) distribution permit. He believes that socialization should be done more evenly and can be maximized through social media.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs, Teten Masduki, has coordinated with the police to handle legal issues faced by MSME players related to frozen food business distribution permits. They are trying to get the authorities to prioritize coaching over prosecution of micro and small businesses that still do not have the necessary permits.
Hopefully, with the cooperation between Kemenkop UKM and the police, the business climate will not be disrupted and the national economy can recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.