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The safe food system

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is at the centre of the world-class bi-national food regulatory system that ensures a safe food supply in Australia and New Zealand. 

Food regulatory system
Food regulatory system

As a keystone standards agency, our work cuts across health, agriculture, industry and trade policy to deliver the regulatory safeguards which support food businesses to produce, sell and import safe food, access international markets and innovate to meet changing consumer preferences.

Our highly-skilled staff use the best available science and a long tradition of productive stakeholder collaboration and engagement to develop and update the legislative standards with which all food must comply, compiled in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

We are the stewards of bi-national food standards and key contributors to a robust and agile food regulatory system.

System overview

The bi-national food regulatory system cooperatively develops food policy, makes standards and implements and enforces food laws. 

All levels of government – local, state and national – play a vital role in the system which actively engages industry and public health stakeholders to provide a stable platform on which the food sector can operate. 

Within the system, FSANZ supports implementation of the Food Regulation Agreement with states and territories and the joint food standards treaty with New Zealand to achieve:

  • a high degree of consumer confidence in the quality and safety of food produced, sold and imported to or exported from Australia and New Zealand
  • an effective, transparent and accountable regulatory framework, within which the food industry and regulators can work efficiently
  • the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices
  • the harmonisation of food standards in Australia, New Zealand and internationally, without reducing the safeguards applying to public health and consumer protection.

Policy development

The food policy framework for Australia is set by the Food Ministers' Forum. The Forum consists of health and agriculture ministers from state, territory, Australian and New Zealand governments. Food standards are developed to reflect this policy framework.

Food standards 

FSANZ develops the food standards in the Food Standards Code with advice from other government agencies and input from stakeholders. 

Implementation and enforcement 

Food standards are enforced by government agencies at local, state and national level. These authorities regularly check food products for compliance with the Food Standards Code.  

Food regulation authorities in Australia and New Zealand work together to ensure food regulations are implemented and enforced consistently. This work is done through the Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR), through face-to-face meetings, out-of-session business and separate collaborations. ISFR was set up by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) to foster a consistent approach across jurisdictions to implementing and enforcing food regulation. Read more about ISFR

More information about the food regulation system is available on the Food Regulation website.

Page last updated 6 December 2023