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Friday, July 12, 2024

BIS Mandate for Stainless Steel, Aluminium Utensils

In a significant move to enhance kitchen safety, quality, and efficiency, the Government of India has mandated conformity to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for stainless steel and aluminium utensils.

According to the Quality Control Order issued by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, on March 14, 2024, the ISI mark would be compulsory for such utensils. Non-compliance is punishable, emphasizing the government’s commitment to consumer safety and product integrity.

Recently, the BIS has developed a range of standards covering essential kitchen items. These standards reflect the BIS’s commitment to ensuring that all kitchen utensils meet stringent criteria and adhere to the quality and safety benchmarks. By introducing these standards, the BIS aims to uphold cultural diversity in culinary practices while promoting superior product performance and consumer safety.

Stainless Steel Utensils: Durability and Elegance

Stainless steel utensils have long been favoured in kitchens worldwide for their durability, versatility, and sleek appearance. Comprising an alloy of steel with chromium and other metals such as nickel, molybdenum, and manganese, stainless steel is renowned for its enhanced corrosion resistance and robust mechanical properties. The BIS has codified these attributes in the Indian Standard IS 14756:2022, which specifies the requirements for various types of utensils used in cooking, serving, dining, and storage.

The IS 14756:2022 standard encompasses:

  • Material Requirements: Ensuring the safe composition of materials used in manufacturing.
  • Shapes and Dimensions: Providing uniformity and practicality in utensil design.
  • Workmanship and Finish: Mandating high-quality craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal.
  • Performance Parameters: Including tests
  •  like the staining test, mechanical shock test, thermal shock test, dry heat test, coating thickness test, nominal capacity test, flame stability test, and specific tests for utensils with tempered glass lids.

Aluminium Utensils: Lightweight and Efficient

Aluminium utensils are another cornerstone of both household and professional kitchens, valued for their lightweight nature, excellent heat conductivity, affordability, and durability. The BIS has developed the Indian Standard IS 1660:2024, which outlines the specifications for wrought and cast aluminium utensils up to 30 litres in capacity including hard anodized and non-stick unreinforced plastic coating. This standard ensures that aluminium utensils meet the highest material quality and performance standards.

Key elements of the IS 1660:2024 standard include:

  • General Requirements: Covering the overall quality and thickness of materials used.
  • Classification and Material Grades: Ensuring the use of appropriate grades as per IS 21 for wrought utensils and IS 617 for cast utensils.
  • Fabrication and Design: Detailing the shapes, dimensions, and workmanship needed for high-quality utensils.
  • Performance Tests: Including specific tests for aluminium lunch boxes to ensure durability and safety.

Similar to stainless steel utensils, aluminium utensils are also subjected to the mandatory certification as per the Quality Control Order dated March 14, 2024. This ensures that no person can manufacture, import, sell, distribute, store, hire, lease, or exhibit for sale any aluminium utensils that do not meet the BIS standards and bear the BIS Standard Mark. Violations of this mandate are subject to legal penalties, reinforcing the importance of compliance in safeguarding public health and maintaining trust in kitchenware products.

Ensuring Quality and Consumer Confidence

The BIS’s stringent standards for stainless steel and aluminium utensils represent a significant step towards ensuring that kitchenware used in homes and professional settings across India meets the highest safety and quality criteria. By implementing rigorous testing and certification processes, the BIS helps protect consumers from substandard products and ensures that utensils are both safe to use and built to last.

These measures enhance consumer confidence and encourage manufacturers to adhere to best practices in production, leading to overall improvements in the industry. The BIS Standard Mark serves as a reliable indicator of quality, guiding consumers in making informed choices and fostering a culture of excellence and safety in kitchenware.

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