Posts from the "Food (Safety) Standards" category

AU: Irradiation of Specific Fruits & Vegetables

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has assessed an application made by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to irradiate apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plum, honeydew, rockmelon, scallopini1, strawberry, table grape and zucchini (courgette) for phytosanitary purposes.
On 28 August 2014, FSANZ sought submissions on a draft variation and published an associated report. FSANZ received forty six submissions. FSANZ approved the draft variation on 4 December 2014. The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation2 (Forum) was notified of FSANZ’s decision on 15 December 2014.
Click here to download the Approval Report for Application A1092.

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Food safety standards for Australia and New Zealand

Food safety standards place obligations on Australian and New Zealand food businesses to produce food that is safe and suitable to eat. There are also health and hygiene obligations for food handlers. The standards aim to lower the incidence of food-borne illness.
A food business is any business or activity that involves the handling of any type of food for sale, or the sale of food in Australia. The requirements apply to all commercial, charitable or community activities including ‘once-only’ projects that involve the handling or sale of food.
Food businesses in New Zealand are required to comply with New Zealand’s Food Act 1981 and the regulations and standards under this Act. For more information visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

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NSW Food Authority serves up food safety in Blacktown

Food safety will be on the menu when the NSW Food Authority brings the NSW Food Regulation Partnership retail meeting to Blacktown next week.
NSW Food Authority CEO Polly Bennett said the meeting is one of a series of regular consultation events the NSW Food Authority holds across the state, and an opportunity for local food businesses to learn how best to capitalise on their excellent reputation.
Read the full article on the NSW Food Authority website.

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Taylor Farms receives food safety award at SQFIC

Western Farm Press: “Taylor Farms, North America’s largest producer of value-added produce to the foodservice industry, received the SQF Primary Producer of the Year award in food safety during the Safe Quality Food International Conference in Orlando, Fla.
The SQF Quality Achievement Awards Program pays tribute to the outstanding commitment, support, and performance of individuals and organizations who embrace the SQFI and its rigorous certification process.”
Read the full article at the Western Farm Press website.

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Managing food recalls: a manufacturer’s guide

Michael Lincoln and Martin Stone write: “A product recall is a high impact event for any food business. It can be extremely costly and the reputational damage to a food business can be serious and long lasting if not managed correctly, report Michael Lincoln and Martin Stone.
What are the main causes for product recalls in Australia? According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) there are approximately five recalls per month in Australia and this figure has been steady over a number of years.
Approximately one-third of recalls are due to microbiological issues, one-third from labelling issues and one-third caused by physical and chemical contamination.”
Read the full article at the foodmag website.

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Back up the food safety training with a good book, writes Richard Bennett

There’s a lot of people responsible for grower, packer or processor quality assurance and food safety who are not technically trained in QA and food safety. That’s just a fact of life that reflects the size, structure and necessities of many fresh produce businesses – small, family and tight. It’s also the reason why some QA standards and customers insist on a minimum level of training for the person(s) responsible for managing food safety in the business, with some now also providing the required training.

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“So, why don’t we have a food safety regulation for Australian growers?” asks Richard Bennett

I haven’t found many growers who like regulation. The very thought of another regulation conjures up responses around more red or green tape, if it has to be regulated then it must be something I wouldn’t do voluntarily, it can’t have any commercial benefit, more bureaucracy wanting more of my…
New food safety & technology post by Richard Bennett on the PMA A-NZ Blog. Click here to view the full post.
Image credit: Carl Clifford/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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Aus has a new Standard for Listeria monocytogenes, but does it apply to you? asks Richard Bennett

There already were maximum limits for Listeria monocytogenes in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). Standard 1.6.1 had what’s called a vertical approach, establishing limits for specific types and limited number of foods. The limit generally specified was “not detected in 25 g”.
Guideline criteria for L. monocytogenes in foods is also provided in the FSANZ Recall guidelines for packaged ready-to-eat foods found to contain Listeria monocytogenes at point of sale (Recall Guidelines) and Guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat foods (RTE Guidelines), based on whether a food is able, or not able, to support the growth of L. monocytogenes.
So what’s changed?
The prescriptive versus risk-based inconsistencies above have obviously troubled Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the food industry. The product by product approach does not reflect product and processing characteristics that may mean some foods currently considered high risk are actually low risk due to the application of a listericidal process (a process that kills Listeria), and vice versa. This obviously makes a difference to the limits that apply.
View the full post at PMA AN-Z:
Image credit: Listeria monocytogenes by Elizabeth White

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NZ MPI Releases Guidance Document on Determining the Shelf Life of Food The NZ Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released the ‘How to Determine the Shelf Life of Food’ document.
The document is intended to help food operators who process, prepare and handle food to determine the shelf-life of their food and apply appropriate date marking. The guide is also useful for other food operators who process, prepare and handle foods for retail sale under the Food Act 1981, Animal Products Act 1999 and Food Act 2014.
Read the full article at
Download the document  from (PDF, 486 KB)

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Food safety issue or regulatory compliance issue, asks Richard Bennett

Growers are always quick to make the distinction. There’s a big difference between foodborne illness due to microbiological contamination and exceeding the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for an agricultural chemical. The smallest traces of a human pathogen can lead to much suffering, even death, but the many-fold human safety buffer built in to the regulatory pesticide limits means that many, many kilograms, if not tonnes, of offending fruit or vegetable would need to be consumed before ill effects from the pesticide are suffered.

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