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Food Safety

Ensuring food is received and maintained to an acceptable standard prior to it being sold to the public is an important aspect in protecting public health. To ensure food for sale is both safe and suitable for human consumption is one of three key objectives of the Food Act 2001. This Act sets out a number of requirements that food businesses need to meet, to help achieve the objectives.

The term 'food business' is defined in the Act as:

"a business, enterprise or activity (other than a business, enterprise or activity that is primary food production) that involves—

(a) the handling of food intended for sale; or

(b) the sale of food,

regardless of whether the business, enterprise or activity concerned is of a commercial, charitable or community nature or whether it involves the handling or sale of food on one occasion only."

 

 

Are you thinking of starting a food business

 

Anybody contemplating starting a Food Business either from home or at a premises, producing food items for sale on the premises or for markets or other outlets is advised to contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer before starting any venture.

Information is available on food production, packaging, labelling and sales information pertaining to particular food types.

Additional information is available in regard to fitting out of premises as a food business including preparation areas, food storage, presentation and sales.

Persons who conduct a Food Business either from home or at another premises are legally required to contact Council.

This is a requirement of the South Australian Food Act and Regulations.

Notification can be done by completing the Food Business Notification Form 

Food Business Notification Form(476 kb)

If a food business is transferred to another person or there is a change in the name or address of a food business the proprietor must give written notice to Council within 14 days of the transfer or change.

 

 

Food Business Inpsections

 

Council conducts inspections of food businesses to monitor compliance with the Food Act 2001. Routine inspections can occur at any reasonable time and a fee may be charged in accordance with the Food Act. Refer to Council's Fees and Charges guide for further details.   

 

Notification of Temporary Food Events

 

Temporary food premises are those that are set up for a specific, occasional event including fetes, fairs, field days, markets, cake stalls, festivals and sausage sizzles.  These food stalls must also meet the requirements as set out in the Food Act 2001.

All events in the Naracoorte Lucindale Council area that have temporary food premises must notify Council prior to the event taking place on the Temporary Notification Form available at the following link:

Food Event (Temporary) Notification Form(43 kb)

Events with temporary food premises can be inspected by an Environmental Health Officer without notice to ensure that food safety standards are being met.  If you would like further information about requirements of food businesses contact Council's Environmental Health Officer.

 

Food Safety Standards

 

The Food Act 2001 requires food businesses to comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.  One of Council’s key responsibilities in relation to the Food Act is to monitor compliance with Chapter 3 (Food Safety Standards) of the Food Standards Code. Chapter 3 contains the following standards:

 

  • Standard 3.2.1 - Food Safety Programs
    “This Standard is based upon the principle that food safety is best ensured through the identification and control of hazards in the production, manufacturing and handling of food as described in the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, …, rather than relying on end product standards alone.  This standard enables States and Territories to require food businesses to implement a food safety program based upon the HACCP concepts.  The food safety program is to be implemented and reviewed by the food business, and is subject to periodic audit by a suitably qualified food safety auditor.”

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand have developed the following guide in relation to the above standard - Food Safety Programs - A guide to Standard 3.2.1 Food Safety Programs

     
  • Standard 3.3.1 - Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons
    “This Standard requires food businesses that process food for service to vulnerable persons to implement a documented and audited food safety program.

    Food businesses that process or serve potentially hazardous food for hospital patients, aged care recipients, children in child care centres and vulnerable people receiving other services will generally fall within the requirements of this Standard, provided the food is intended for six or more vulnerable persons.  This Standard also applies to delivered meals organisations that process potentially hazardous meals intended for six or more vulnerable persons
    .”

    All food businesses should understand the requirements of Chapter 3 (Food Safety Standards) and ensure that their business complies at all times.

For more information about the Food Standards Code please visit http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/

 

Food Skills and Knowledge

 

There are a number of ways that food business proprietors and food handlers can ensure their skills and knowledge meet the requirements of the Food Safety Standards. Options can include:

  • In-house training;
  • Providing staff with relevant information to read;
  • Documenting rules/procedures that outline responsibilities;
  • Training provided by appropriate external person/organisation;
  • Formal training;
  • Any combination of the above 

Council's Environmental Health Offcier has two types of Food Safety Information Kits (produced by the South Australian Department of Health) available on request. This includes one kit that is tailored for community groups. These resources contain a number of fact sheets, brochures, posters and a food safety DVD.