Food Safety Inspections in 2019

Published on 04 February 2019

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Council’s Environmental Health Officer will be undertaking routine, unannounced inspections of all retail food businesses (including mobile food businesses) operating across the Snowy Valleys area in 2019.

“The aim of routine inspections is to assess whether the business is complying with the current food laws,” said Council’s Acting Director of Strategy, Community and Development Phil Stone.  “In the course of the inspection, the Officer can also answer any questions the food business has relating to food safety matters”.

Food premise inspections assess compliance with the Food Standards Code and Food Act 2003 requirements, including food handling controls, cleaning and sanitising, food temperature control, pest control, premises design and construction, and food labelling.

Inspection frequency can vary depending on the risk category of each business, with the primary intention to assess the compliance of the business with current food laws.

“High risk businesses are routinely inspected at least twice a year, whilst medium risk are once a year, and low risk are generally by complaint only,” Mr Stone said.

“If you are unsure about the risk category your business falls into, we encourage you to contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer to discuss”.

The five most common issues identified during inspections are unclean premises and equipment, a hand basin which is either obstructed or without soap or paper towels for correct hand washing, pest control issues, not keeping high risk foods at the right temperatures and not covering food during storage.

In addition to routine inspections, a Council Officer may also visit a food business if a complaint is received from a member of the public. In this instance, the business would be informed of the nature of the complaint.

Mr Stone advises anyone thinking of starting any type of food business to consult Council’s Environmental Health Officer prior to starting to avoid non-compliance and associated penalties.

“We also highly recommended reading Chapter 3 of the Food Safety Standards, at www.foodstandards.gov.au, which details specific requirements of food businesses,” Mr Stone said.

Food Business Registration Form, Temporary Food Stall Application and a subsequent Temporary Food Stall Operator Checklist are available from Council’s website at www.svc.nsw.gov.au/public-health-food-safety.

Further information regarding what to expect when Council inspects can be found on the NSW Food Authority website at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 1300 ASK SVC (1300 275 782).  

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