​Introduction

FSANZ plays a key role in the Australian New Zealand Food Regulatory System as the coordinating agency for national incident response and food recalls. This function falls under the third theme of the FSANZ Corporate Plan for 2020-21 – an independent contributor to a robust and agile food regulation system.

Our coordination role in national food incident response requires us to deliver efficient and effective food incident management through the Bi-National Food Safety Network (BFSN). The BFSN are a group of government representatives from the states, territories and selected Commonwealth agencies. During a food incident, FSANZ coordinates teleconferences with the BFSN and provides secretariat support and facilitates information sharing and public communication. When an incident has international implications FSANZ act as the key contact point in Australia for the FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). To measure our performance we collect satisfaction ratings from the BFSN based on our coordination of food incidents.

FSANZ is the coordinating agency for national food recalls. We contribute to consumer confidence in our food supply by coordinating a recall system that facilitates the timely removal of unsafe food from sale. Strong and cooperative relationships between the food recall coordinator, the enforcement agencies and food businesses are essential to the effectiveness of this system. To measure our performance we routinely collect satisfaction ratings after each food recall.

Data

The BFSN is surveyed annually to determine their satisfaction with FSANZ's coordination role during a food incident. The data is collected from jurisdictions by providing a 'satisfied' or 'not satisfied' rating. Non-response is counted as satisfied and this is provided as an option to reduce reporting burden on jurisdictions. Survey respondents may also provide comments  to highlight or suggest areas for improvement.

The Food Recall System (FRS) is the system used to collect and coordinate all food recalls. As coordinator, FSANZ collects information from the food business on the product, the problem, how it occurred and any corrective actions they have taken following the recall. We also collect information on their satisfaction with our service including the information we provided to assist with the coordination and timeliness of the recall. This information is requested from a food business after every recall.

Results

Outcome ​Performance measure ​Results ​Context

​The food regulatory system is coordinated

​% of recall sponsors satisfied with FSANZ information and assistance*

​To date, 100% of recall sponsors are satisfied or very satisfied with FSANZ information and assistance.

​Last financial year, we coordinated 99 recalls and received 84 post recall reports providing a satisfaction rating. Ratings that have not been received may be due to reports not yet being due or the sponsor has been lost to follow up. This year FSANZ received a satisfaction rating of 100%. This is unchanged from last year’s rating.

​% of Bi-National Food Safety Network agencies satisfied with FSANZ role in incident response*

​100% of Bi-National Food Safety Network agencies reported being satisfied with FSANZ’s role in incident response.

​This is the first year FSANZ has collected a satisfaction rating for incident response. The outcome shows a high level of satisfaction with FSANZ’s services and FSANZ will continue to strive towards this level of satisfaction.

* Indicates that the measure overlaps with deliverables set by our portfolio agency the Australian Department of Health.

Case study – Recall satisfaction statistics

FSANZ has been collecting and reporting annually on recall and satisfaction statistics for many years[1]. In 2018 we also included a dedicated page for undeclared allergens and root cause analysis[2]

In 2019, the Food Recall System (FRS) was upgraded to enhance reporting capabilities and collect performance metrics data. The upgrades included transitioning 30 years of recall data into a single location, adding additional reporting functions allowing graphs and data to be instantly generated and streamlining processes to limit reporting errors.

The addition of satisfaction ratings to the FRS was part of the upgrade. The data collected for 2020 is reported in the graphs below. The information can be collected and presented at any point in time. The data is used for measuring satisfaction ratings, responding to data enquiries and for reporting annual food recall statistics on the FSANZ website. We also publish this information in the annual report.

 

Conclusion

The results indicate that FSANZ has met expectations for this outcome. These measures stem from the strategic directions that we will maintain our role in food recalls and food incidents. The measure also overlaps with deliverables set for the PBS. As coordinator of food recalls and incidence responses, we contribute to a broader activity within the food regulatory system and our performance is integral. The high level of satisfaction ratings from external stakeholders and BFSN government officers indicate that FSANZ is effective in coordinating these activities. FSANZ aims to maintain this level of satisfaction and coordination in subsequent reporting periods.

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