Council has been authorised by the New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority to undertake food surveillance of retail food businesses in our Local Government Area (LGA). Council Officers regularly meet representatives of NSW Food Authority and other Local Council Officers to discuss food safety matters and assist the process of achieving consistency among inspections carried out by Councils in the area and State.
Food Safety Supervisor Requirements
New food laws introduced in NSW require certain food businesses in the hospitality and retail food services sector to appoint at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS).
NSW Food Authority has produced a guideline detailing the new requirements.
All food businesses including those processing and selling food at retail level are required to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor. The FSS requirement applies to retail businesses who process and sell food (prepare and serve) that is:
- potentially hazardous (ie needs temperature control)
- NOT sold and served in the supplier's original package
Examples of businesses include restaurants, cafés, takeaway shops, caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels and supermarket hot food sales.
The business owner or the Food Safety Supervisor must notify Council that a Food Safety Supervisor has been appointed for the food business. Food Safety Supervisor notification to Council is separate to other notifications.
The training requirements for the Food Safety Supervisor are nationally approved.
The Food Safety Supervisor training course will be held at approved training organisations (ATOs). Details of the training organisations can be found on the NSW Food Authority website.
Information to assist customers to calculate the kilojoule intake of foods - 8700 reasons to change the way you think about fast food
The 8700kJ campaign follows NSW legislation which has seen the introduction of kilojoule labelling on menu boards since 1 February 2012.
"Fastfood chains with twenty or more outlets in NSW are now required to display the kilojoule content of all items on their menus."
"The average Australian consumes 8700 kilojoules of food and drink each day, yet only five per cent of people are aware of how many kilojoules they should be consuming."
Consumers can visit www.8700.com.au to calculate their ideal kilojoule intake, search food outlets to see how many kilojoules are in the food they are eating, and learn about how exercise can help burn kilojoules.
Love Food Hate Waste Campaign
Wasting food wastes the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and market that food. The NSW EPA has developed a website to provide useful advice to residents and businesses to minimise the amount of food that is unnecessarily wasted.
Healthy Eating Advice Heart Foundation
The Heart Foundation of Australia has many useful tips to provide healthy meals including recipes and healthy living. The Heart Foundation has also identified that caterers for groups and organisations can play an important role in supporting healthy eating, a key step in reducing the risk of heart disease. A few simple changes can make a big difference to the food served at your events, proving healthier is still delicious.
The Heart Foundation website has a number of resources of particular interest to food service business owners:
- The 3 Step Guide which has been produced by the Heart Foundation to help the food service industry reduce the level of trans and saturated fats in food prepared and served. It briefly outlines why these fats are unhealthy, where they are found on menus and simple steps that can be taken to reduce them. The 3 Step Guide is currently being updated to reflect currently available products.
- A Healthier Serve: the Heart Foundation's Guide to Healthier Catering which outlines ideas for a healthier approach to providing healthier foods.
Both of these resources are available at the Providing Food for Others section of their website.
Council has prepared a program of inspections based on the risk assessment endorsed by NSW Food Authority. This risk assessment classifies retail food business into 3 levels of risk these are level 0, level 1, and level 2.
- Level 0 (Low risk) are those that sell only low risk packaged food (generally inspected only when an incident occurs)
- Level 1 (Medium risk) are those businesses that sell medium and low risk food (generally inspected once per year)
- Level 2 (High risk) are those businesses that sell high risk food including cooked meals (generally inspected once per year)
Where critical defects are observed during the inspection a re-inspection of the premises is carried out to ensure that the matters raised are dealt with.
Charges for Food Safety Surveillance
Food businesses are charged an Annual Administration Fee and an Inspection Fee in line with the recommended fees from the NSW Food Authority and adopted by Council in its annual review of its Fees and Charges.
Food business inspections are not optional and Council inspects food businesses at a frequency equivalent to their level of risk classification as detailed above. Council’s adopted fees and charges for food safety inspections are included in Council's Fees and Charges.
Food Safety Standards
The standards that food businesses must meet in New South Wales are contained in the Food Act 2003, Food Regulation 2015, and the Food Standards Code - Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
The Standards apply to all food businesses. To address the specific requirements for temporary food events and markets, the NSW Food Authority has produced guidelines to assist businesses selling food at temporary events to comply with food safety requirements.
Temporary Food Events and Markets
All food suppliers, including not-for-profit and charity fundraisers, are required to sell safe and suitable food in compliance with the Food Standards Code (the Code). The NSW Food Authority published the Food Handling Guideline for Temporary Events (the Guideline) which provides minimum standards for the preparation, display, handling and labelling of food and beverages in line with the Code.
It is important to be familiar with Part 3.2.2 (Food Safety Requirements) of the Code, which is particularly relevant to events. Among other things, it relates to the storage, processing, display and distribution of food; the skills and knowledge of food handlers and their supervisors; the health and hygiene of food handlers; and the cleaning and maintenance premises and equipment.
You must always consult Council or landowning authority to gain approval for the sale of food and beverages and for the installation of temporary food stalls. Part 3.2.3 (Food Premises and Equipment) of the Code should also be consulted. It gives guidance on complying with the food safety standards in relation to the construction and cleaning of food stalls, premises and transport vehicles, as well as other necessary services such as water, waste disposal, light, ventilation, cleaning and personal hygiene facilities. The Guideline should also be consulted for recommendations on the location of food stalls and minimum standards for stall construction.
Food businesses of the type generally involved in temporary events are not required to hold a NSW Food Authority Licence. However, it is likely that a licence will be needed under the Food Regulation 2015, if the business involves the processing of foods such as butcher’s meat, raw poultry, dairy products or seafood. The NSW Food Authority should be contacted prior to the event to ensure the approval requirements are met.
Liquor licences also require that food must be available if liquor is served.
- NSW Food Authority
- NSW Food Authority - Information for Food Safety Supervisors
- Food Standards Code - Food Standards Australia New Zealand
- Food Handling Guidelines for Temporary Events
- The Food Act 2003
- Food Regulation 2015
- Powers of Authorised Officers
- Australian Standards 4674-2004 - Design, Construction and Fit out of Food Premises
- Food Standards and Requirements Overview
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
- Food Standards Code - User Guides (FSANZ)
- NSW Office of Fair Trading
- Heart Foundation
- Heart Foundation - Information on Catering and Preparing Food
- Love Food Hate Waste