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The priority classification system for food businesses


A risk-based system designed to classify food businesses into priority ratings based on the risk they present to public health and safety

This information paper outlines the system and describes how to apply it to food businesses

[ full version pdf ]




1 The Priority Classification System for food businesses

The Priority Classification System is a scoring system that classifies food businesses into risk categories based on the type of food, activity of the business, method of processing and customer base. Food businesses are assigned a score that relates to one of three priority classifications: high, medium and low. Individual scores for a specified set of risk factors are added to achieve an overall score that determines the priority classification for the food business. State and Territory Governments that implement a food safety program requirement can use the classification system to determine:

  1. the food safety program implementation timetable; and

  2. the initial audit frequency for food businesses.

The Priority Classification System does not apply to food businesses within the primary industry sector.

Copies of this document can be obtained from or the Information Officer at:


Australia New Zealand Food Authority

Australia New Zealand Food Authority

PO Box 7186, Canberra Mail Centre

PO Box 10559, Wellington

Australia ACT 2610

New Zealand 6036

Fax: +61 2 6271 2278

Fax: +63 4 473 9855

Telephone: +61 2 6271 2241

Telephone: +63 4 473 9942


Email: nz.reception@foodstandards.govt. nz

This document is intended as a guide only: legal requirements are contained in the Food Standards Code and relevant food legislation and other applicable laws. The information in this document should not be relied upon as legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. You should exercise your own skill, care and judgement before relying on this information in any important matter.

© Australia New Zealand Food Authority 2001

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under theCopyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from Info Products. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Legislative Services, Info Products, Department of Finance and Administration, GPO Box 1920, Canberra, Australia ACT 2601.

[ full version pdf ]


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