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Introduction to new food safety standards

 

Fact sheet for Charities and Community Organisations

An introduction to the new Food Safety Standards

Charities and community organisations play an important role in our community, and fundraising events are a major contribution to the work of the community. But no one wants people to get sick from the food they eat at these events.

In Australia, the food law places many responsibilities on the proprietor of a food business. If you are the organiser of an event or an official of a charity or community organisation that is selling food, you need to be aware of these responsibilities.

If you understand your legal responsibilities and plan your events properly and in good time, complying with the law is straightforward.

What the law says

The Food Safety Standards, which apply to Australia only, include requirements for the handling, storage, transport and display of food. The Standards are in the process of being adopted by each State and Territory and, when adopted, will specify requirements that are consistent across Australia for the first time. A copy of the Food Safety Standards is available from the FSANZ website at www.foodstandards.gov.au and may also be available from your local council or health authority.

In the Standards, a food business is identified as a business, enterprise or activity (other than primary food production) that involves:

(a) the handling of food 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. (clause 1, Standard 3.1.1 Interpretation and Application).

This definition of a ' food business' includes all food activities involved in fundraising, including preparation of the food before it is sold. The definition of ' sale' covers fundraising activities. Food has been sold even if you just ask for a donation.

How to use this guide

The decision path on the back page of this guide leads you through the different types of events. Next to each question is a list of fact sheets containing the information that you need to consider for your activity. The fact sheets are:

1 Notification

2 Skills and knowledge

3 Labelling

4 Temperature control

5 Sausage sizzles and barbecues

6 Preparing and cooking food

7 Transporting food

8 Camping

9 Health and hygiene for food handlers

The event organiser should read the fact sheets that are relevant to the type of event and should ensure that the people helping with the event also read them.

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Acknowledgements and feedback

The Australia New Zealand Food Authority and Laister Consulting Services prepared these fact sheets with help from charities and community organisations, and the State and Territory health authorities of Australia. FSANZ expresses its appreciation of the assistance received from Laister Consulting Services and from these organisations and authorities. FSANZ acknowledges that the views contained in these fact sheets do not necessarily represent their views.

FSANZ invites feedback on these fact sheets from individuals, organisations and government agencies. The feedback must be in writing and can be faxed, mailed or e-mailed to the Food Safety Program, FSANZ (see the contact details below). Your feedback will be taken into account when the fact sheets are reviewed.

These fact sheets, unlike the Food Standards, are not legally binding. If you have any doubts about the interpretation of the Standards or your legal responsibilities under the Standards, seek independent legal advice.

For further information on the Food Standards and other regulatory matters, please see the

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