Why Does Food Safety Matter for Indonesian Products?

Ensuring food safety is an essential step prior to distributing your products in Indonesia. Learn how to register your products.

Food safety is an important issue that should not be overlooked. The governmental body in charge of overseeing food and drug control in Indonesia is Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan or BPOM, which is responsible for protecting public health through the supervision and control of various goods such as pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, dietary supplements, food, and safety of traditional medicine, and also cosmetics.

BPOM Warns Ice Cream Manufacturers about Food Safety

BPOM conducts random testing of goods distributed to the market. BPOM’s checking of products does not merely occur before the distribution stage when companies apply for relevant permits and licenses; the checking extends even after distribution.

A clear implication of that objective is the recent withdrawal of Haagen Dazs ice cream from the Indonesian market. The reason for the withdrawal was the contents of Ethylene Oxide (EtO) within the ice cream exceeded the limit set by the European Union.

The said chemical substance is harmful to the body and has been banned in many countries. EtO is generally used in Indonesia to preserve various dried food, spices, and other products that may rot quickly.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies EtO as a carcinogenic compound. This classification is based on the side effect it has on humans, which includes muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, headache, and other similar illnesses. In some more severe cases, it can cause leukemia, neurotoxicity, and acute respiratory syndrome.

Why Does Food Safety Matter?

Food Safety in Indonesia: Why is it important?

There is a constant need to balance the exposure to different products by opening up Indonesian markets and keeping the general public health. The Indonesian government continues to make it cheaper and more accessible for products to penetrate the Indonesian market.

However, ensuring the quality of the product itself might be tricky. BPOM takes this role, so consumers do not have to worry about their safety in consuming products in Indonesian markets.

As BPOM is the regulatory body to ensure that food products are safe for consumption in Indonesia, their routine is to check the safety along the process, starting from the production stage until the product reaches the hands of the consumers to ensure they comply with safety standards.

Promising the safety of food products is also an integral part of human rights. Consumers have the legal right to be safe from health threats and to live in a healthy environment.

BPOM Roles in Food Safety

The role and significance BPOM holds continue to increase as national economic growth continues to spur. Assurance of consumer protection amidst competitiveness is essential within the food and beverage industry.

There is a dire need to support the standardization of raw materials, products, and processes. Testing laboratories hold a strategic role in providing quality infrastructure that allows for proper supervision of food safety.

Other bodies like the Balai Besar Industri Agro (BBIA), set up under the Minister of Industry, also carry out the critical task of liaising between national institutions relating to food resting in Indonesia.

How to Register F&B Products in Indonesia

To apply for the distribution permit from BPOM for food products, the first step is to register the company account through the following steps:

  • Preparing the documents, which include NPWP, other related permits, and licenses, as well as PSB.
  • Visit e-reg.pom.go.id and input the data necessary relating to the company and factory of production and distribution of food products.
  • The following step then requires an upload of supporting documents.
  • The officer in charge will then verify the data and information.
  • Following such an evaluation, the company account will be registered, and BPOM’s system will generate a User ID and password.

The steps mentioned above only register the company itself and not the products. To register food products, here are the necessary steps:

  • Visit the e-reg.pom.go.id page
  • Select ‘food e-registration / e-registration BTP’
  • The following step is logging in based on the User ID and password provided while registering the company.
  • Input data and upload supporting documents before clicking on ‘process.’
  • May necessary payment based on the instructions given
  • BPOM officers are then tasked to verify and validate the data submitted
  • Should the information provided be valid, then the Nomor Izin Edar or Circulation Permit Number will be issued electronically.

The process is often long and tedious. Companies that require help with both company registration and product registration should contact InCorp Indonesia (formerly Cekindo) for further assistance.

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Pandu Biasramadhan

Pandu is the Consulting Manager at Cekindo. He has extensive experience in working with government agencies. Notably, he has provided market-entry solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managed regional partnership channels in Southeast Asia. At Cekindo, Pandu aspires to lead the consulting team to provide top-quality market-entry services and maintain a portfolio of global clientele. His specialty is market-entry advisory and business process outsourcing.