Food Safety and The Law
The food industry is heavily regulated and rightfully so. People can get very ill from food borne illnesses if hazards are not properly identified and controlled.
This can lead to things such as warnings, fines or even prosecution. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both your business and the community you serve to ensure that the food safety laws are followed.
We know from experience – the regulations can be a bit daunting.
Let us talk you through it.
What does the law require me to do?
Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, businesses that provide food service to vulnerable persons are required to implement a documented and audited food safety program. That’s a bit wordy, so we’ll break it down.
You are required to have a food safety program if you serve food to vulnerable people. However, this begs the question – what exactly is a vulnerable person? Aren’t we all a little vulnerable?
Food Standards Australia New Zealand states that a vulnerable person is a person who is in the care of a hospital, hospice, aged care facility, or childcare centre. A vulnerable person could also be the client of a delivered meals organisation.
Does this apply to you and your business?
What is a food safety program?
As stated, a food safety program needs to be documented and audited. What does this mean though?
We’ll start with the documentation. There is a legal requirement for certain information and documents to be included as part of the food safety program. There is more that can be included but the legal requirements are the bare minimum.
These requirements include systematic identification of potential hazards and the identification of where each hazard can be controlled and the means of control. FAQs on the requirements can be seen here.
Next thing we know is that a food safety program needs to be audited by a person approved as a food safety auditor. This needs to be done at a frequency that is determined by the appropriate enforcement agency and may differ from state to state. The frequency will also differ depending on how well your business has met the food safety requirements in the past. This audit may be done by third party auditors or government-employed auditors depending on the state.
How do I make sure I meet regulations?
You’ll notice that we stated earlier that you will need to identify each potential hazard and the means of control. One form of control suggested by the standards is cleaning and sanitisation to reduce contamination of food from premises and equipment. Prevention is the best means of control and this is where Jaymak can help.
Jaymak can come in and evaluate your premises and help to make recommendations on the frequency and scope of cleaning based on various factors. We can even save you money by reducing your energy consumption.
Book in for a free consultation with one of our experts who will come and inspect your venue, identify the efficiency of your equipment and help you to establish your hygiene requirements and provide you with a full report and quote. Book in now or use our technician locator to find the technicians in your local area.
https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/userguide/Documents/Guide%20321%20FINAL.pdf – A guide to Standard 3.2.1 Food Safety Programs
Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
A Guide to Standard 3.3.1 Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons.
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