The Product Information Form is a key document in Supplier control. It was developed many years ago to assist businesses in collecting the information required to determine if both a supplier and their ingredients are safe and suitable for use.
It includes spaces for information on all aspects of the ingredient and it’s process.
It was originally used as a series of spreadsheets and has since evolved into an easy to use tailored application.
There is no legal requirement that any food business has to use the PIF to collect the information needed to meet the requirements of food safety, but most companies find using it worthwhile as it ensures that all the required information is collected and nothing is missed.
Version 6 was released in late 2018.
For more information go to https://www.afgc.org.au/our-expertise/legal-and-regulatory-affairs/product-information-form-v6
FIAL has just released the PROTEIN MARKET: Size of the PrizeAnalysis for Australia March 2019 Report.
It details the study and subsequent analysis of protein in Australia as compared to other countries across the world. It includes sources, consumption and value.
The following are some of the findings;
- Global protein consumption rose 40% between 2000 and 2018. More than 50% of this increase was driven by Asia.
- Globally, each person was estimated to consume 26kg of protein per year on average in 2018. Fuelled by the growth of the consuming class, this is projected to grow by 27% to 33kg in 2025.
- Indonesia and Sub-Saharan Africa are forecast to see the highest protein demand growth rates of up to 3.6% per year between 2018 and 2025.
- In 2018, plant-based proteins accounted for 66% of global protein consumption supply, and is likely to remain as the dominant source of supply in 2025.
- In value terms, the global protein market could be worth up to A$513 billion in 2025, 40% of which could come from meat proteins.
- China is projected to be the largest market across all protein categories, except plant-based proteins. The country alone could account for 35% of global protein market value in 2025
- Shifting Australia’s protein production mix to match projected global consumption for high-value proteins could create an additional A$55 billion in 2025, as compared to business-as-usual approaches.
- A recent survey found that 58 percent of consumers purchase food products based on the amount of their protein content. Source:Natural Products Insider (2019). Deep dive report: The plant-based protein market
The full report can be found at https://fial.com.au/Attachment?Action=Download&Attachment_id=200
This report is well worth all food manufacturers time to read through as it highlights that there are changes happening, particularly in protein sources.
The Food Safety Standards – the national rules for food safety in Australia – are under review. This impacts on every food business in the country and all are encouraged to have their say.
The following is from the Food Standards Australia new Zealand website, www.foodstandards.gov.au, and is included here with permission.
Overall, Australia has a strong food safety management system in place which ensures a safe food supply. Despite this, foodborne illness continues to be a problem.
In April 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) agreed the food regulation system is producing strong food safety outcomes overall, and identified three priority areas for 2017–2021 to further strengthen the system. One of these priorities is to reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella, with a nationally-consistent approach.
FSANZ is reviewing chapters 3 and 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to ensure a consistent and current approach to through-chain food safety management in Australia.
As part of the review, FSANZ will consider:
- requirements for food safety management in the food service sector and closely related retails sector
- potential development of a primary production and processing (PPP) standard for high-risk horticulture products to introduce requirements to manage food safety on-farm, including requirements for traceability
- new technologies that have developed since the original standards were developed
FSANZ is expecting to prepare a number of proposals to address this work commencing mid-2019. This paper provides an opportunity for stakeholders to provide general comment on the proposed scope and approach to the review. An opportunity to provide feedback on specific issues related to each area of work will occur during the proposal processes.
Comments on the paper can be made by in writing to email@example.com, or to
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
PO Box 5423
KINGSTON ACT 2604
Tel +61 2 6271 2222
Deadline for comments is: 31 May 2019
The following is the latest media release from the Food Safety Information Council Ltd and is included here with permission.
As Election Day BBQs are being cleaned and fired up around the country, the Food Safety Information Council today released food safety tips for your democracy sausage or cake fundraiser.
Council Chair, Cathy Moir, said that Election Day fundraisers are a great way to raise money for your school or other community organisation but at the same time you need to make sure that it doesn’t become a food poisoning risk.
‘Local rules for non-profit fundraisers can vary slightly depending on the State or Territory where you live but generally these tips cover what you need to do to ensure food is safe:
- Appoint someone to be the event supervisor to make sure your volunteers are following food safety rules. Also try to have a separate person taking the orders and money so your cooks can concentrate on handling the food safely.
- Ensure hand washing facilities with soap are available. Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly on a single use paper towel before handling food and after handling raw meat or poultry, going to the toilet, touching your face or hair, blowing your nose, leaving the food stall or shaking hands.
- Wear clean clothing and a clean apron.
- Never cook food for others if you are feeling unwell.
- When transporting food, only travel a short distance and make sure the food is covered and in a cool place in your vehicle e.g. in the air conditioned vehicle rather than the boot. Transport food that needs refrigerating in a cooler with ice bricks. Keep food cool under 5°C until you are ready to cook it.
- Use a probe meat thermometer to check that the sausages, hamburger patties and poultry are cooked to at least 75°C in the thickest part of the meat. Cook these foods as close as possible to the time of sale. Steak can be cooked to taste. Clean your thermometer between uses with a sterile wipe.
- Don’t put cooked meat or poultry back on the same container that raw meat or poultry has been on or use the same utensils, such as tongs, for raw and cooked foods.
- Prepare and serve ready-to-eat products such as bread, salad items and cakes etc. on a clean surface and away from raw meat to avoid cross-contamination.
- Wash any equipment such as chopping boards and knives in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly before using again. Tea towels can get contaminated quickly so you may wish to use paper towel.
‘If you run a cake stall don’t include riskier ingredients such as fresh cream or raw or partially cooked eggs. Make sure cakes are covered to protect them from insects and people sneezing on them. While you don’t have to include an ingredient list of allergens on the product, be aware of any allergens in the cake (such as milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts, gluten and wheat, soy, sesame and lupin) so you can tell a customer if asked. Label the cake with the name of its maker so that, on the rare occasion something does go wrong, the food can be traced.
‘You may need to register your fundraising event with your local Council so contact their environmental health officer and get more food safety advice,’ Ms Moir concluded.
For more information see:
Local Council food enforcement contacts
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Fundraising events
NSW Food Authority Charity events
Queensland Health Fundraising events
Victoria Department of Health Sausage sizzles
ACT Department of Health Fundraising stalls
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are two reviews currently under way at Food Standards Australia new Zealand. This information is included with permission.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released an information paper on its proposed approach to a review of food safety standards in the Food Standards Code.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said FSANZ is reviewing chapters 3 and 4 of the Food Standards Code to ensure there is a consistent and up-to-date approach to food safety management in Australia.
“The review will focus on:
- the requirements for food safety management in the food service sector and closely related retail sectors, and
- potential development of a primary production and processing standard for high-risk horticulture products to introduce requirements to manage food safety on-farm, including requirements for traceability.
“In addition, FSANZ will consider new technologies that have developed since the original standards were developed.
“I encourage all stakeholders to comment on the proposed scope and approach of the review by 31 May 2019.
“We are expecting to prepare a number of proposals to progress this work and there will be consultation opportunities during the proposal process.”
Media contact: 0401 714 265 (Australia) or +61 401 714 265 (from New Zealand) or email@example.com
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application to lower the minimum alcohol percentage in the Food Standards Code for Tequila from 37 per cent to 35 per cent.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said Spirits New Zealand proposed the changes which will harmonise requirements with Mexican rules for Tequila geographical indication (GI).
A GI identifies a good (in this case Tequila) as originating in a specific region where a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is attributable to that geographic origin.
“Currently the Code requires all spirits to have a minimum content of 37 per cent. Therefore, some products legally entitled to use the Tequila GI are excluded from the New Zealand and Australian markets,” Mr Booth said.
The period for comment closes at 6pm (Canberra time) 18 June 2019.
All FSANZ decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.
Media contact: 0401 714 265 (Australia) or +61 401 714 265 (from New Zealand)
So we have all heard that the word “Champagne” can only be used on sparkling wine which has been produced in the Champagne region in France, and that means that all other bubbly wine is called sparkling wine.
This is the classic example of what is called a Geographical Indication (GI). It means that a food, wine or other product is recognised as either coming from a specific registered area or is made with a minimum amount of materials from that region or is made using a process which is only used there. It is internationally recognised and is enforceable by laws across the world.
If a company were to use the specific area on a product which does not meet the requirements, it will be pursued legally.
GIs cannot just be used randomly, there has to specific characteristics which come through in the product which are only from that region, like flavour or colour or texture, in order for that region to be recognised.
It has to be applied for and those characteristics proven and the use of that GI is registered for 10 years, but it can be extended indefinitely as long as the registration fee is paid.
Rarely is a GI registered by a single company, as the benefits are beyond one single business, so the registration is usually held by a group or local council or similar to ensure that the benefits are availbale for all the relevant businesses in that area, like Champagne.
The major reason for going through the expensive and complicated process of registering and maintain a GI is all about marketing and the value that people perceive from that specific area and the name that is associated with it. People pay more for Champagne than they do for most sparkling wine because of the reputation those wines have from that area.
For food businesses across the world, GI is something that must be considered when developing new products and then naming them. Product development can now longer just be about coming up with a new product and sendng it out into the market. There has to be a lot of research of markets, ingredients, processes, labelling requirements and also names to make sure that the company does not accidently breach any laws, including those surrounding GI.
For more information about Geographical Indications, go to
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation recently released the 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report.
This report is intended to show the state of malnutrition and malnourishment around the world and it’s possible causes. The aim is to end hunger and malnourishment across the world.
This year’s report recognises that countries which are more sensitive to rainfall and temperatures variations and rely heavily on agriculture are worse off for hunger than in previous reports.
One of the major recommendations from the 2018 Report is that food security and the systems providing it must be strengthened and made more adaptable.
The following are some of the findings for the world for 2017;
- Approximately one in nine people across the world are undernourished
- One adult in eight are obese
- 38 million children under the age of five are overweight
- One woman in three of reproductive age is anaemic
- 22 percent of all children under the age of five are stunted (this is down from 25 percent in 2012)
- 50.5 million children under five were affected by wasting
- 10 percent of the worrld’s population were affected by severe food security
The target is to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. Remember that it is possible to be obese and still be malnourished.
With such high figures of undernourishment and obesity, it does make you wonder how this target can possibly be achieved across the globe in only 11 years!
The full report can be found at https://www.wfp.org/content/2018-state-food-security-and-nutrition-world-sofi-report
With much handshaking and baby kissing happening over the next few weeks, the Food Safety Information Council today released its hand hygiene advice to those on the election trail.
Council spokesperson, Lydia Buchtmann, said that the election period has coincided with cooler weather in the southern parts of Australia when viral infections such as norovirus and influenza become more common.
‘Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to stop these viruses spreading. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea and it’s not something you want on the campaign bus. If you don’t have access to handwashing facilities then alcohol sanitiser is also a good option but make sure you cover all surfaces of both hands before it dries.
‘Always wash your hands and dry thoroughly after going to the toilet or blowing your nose as well as before handling, preparing or eating food. Here are three tips on how to wash your hands correctly:
- Wet your hands and rub together well to build up a good lather with soap as the suds help to loosen the bugs. Do this for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails.
- Rinse well under running water to wash away the bugs from your hands
- Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel for at least 20 seconds – a hand dryer may take a little longer.
‘We normally suggest you judge the length of 20 seconds by singing ‘Happy Birthday to you…’ through twice but perhaps ‘Lucky Election Day to me…’ could be more appropriate.
‘The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and we have been advising the community (including politicians) about food safety for over 20 years. We always had bi-partisan support for our work in reducing the 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year but in 2014 the current government withdrew our administrative funding due to ‘financial constraints’.
‘While we have had positive discussions with the office of current Minister, Bridget McKenzie, restoration of funding didn’t occur before the election was called. The Labor Shadow Assistant Minister was supportive of our cause in a recent meeting. We are seeking a commitment from both sides of politics to continue to fund our important work, especially with challenges such as increased rates of Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in Australia and a series of major food poisoning incidents over the past 12 months,’ Ms Buchtmann concluded.
The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information. The Council aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average each year.
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The following recall notices are provided by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and are included here with permission.
Organic Spring Pty Ltd imported French Cheeses
- Chaource St-Simeon 250G Best Before 24 FEB 19, 24 MARCH 19, 14 APR 19, 28 APR 19
- Brie de la brie 3kg Best Before 01 MARCH 19, 24 MARCH 19, 14 APRIL 19
- Explorateur Mini Sous Coque 125g Best Before 12 FEB 19, 14 APRIL 19, 28 APRIL 19
Organic Spring Pty Ltd is conducting a recall of the above products. The products have been available for sale at Spring Street Cheese Cellar in VIC.
Problem: The recall is due to potential microbial Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Food safety hazard: Listeria may cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies, the elderly and people with low immune systems.
What to do: Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Country of Origin: France
Steve’s Fresh Farm Eggs
Fresh Eggs From My Farm 12 Free Range Eggs 700g
Fresh Eggs From My Farm Cage Eggs 700g
Use By 6-5-2019
Steve’s Fresh Farm Eggs is conducting a recall of the above products. The products have been available for sale at butchers and independent stores in NSW.
Problem: The recall is due to potential microbial Salmonella Enteritidis contamination.
Food safety hazard: Food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed.
Country of origin: Australia
What to do: Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund. For further information please contact:
Steve’s Fresh Farm Eggs 0438081860
Schulz Organic Farms Pty Ltd TA Timboon Dairy/Timboon Cheesery is conducting a recall of Timboon Brie. The product has been available for sale at Timboon Cheesery in Vic.
Use by 05-05-19
Problem The recall is due to microbial E.coli contamination.
Food safety hazard Food products contaminated with E.coli may cause illness if consumed.
Country of origin Australia
What to do
Consumers should not eat this product. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Customers should return the product to the place of purchase for a full cash refund.
For further information please contact: Timboon Cheesery 0491108328 www.timbooncheesery.com.au
There are days or weeks for nearly everything nowadays – or at least it seems that way. But really how many of the many named days or weeks in the year do most of us know or even care about it?
How many of these days or weeks actually do what they are intended to do – promote the particular issue that is being recognised so that people remember it?
For all of us involved in food the big one has to be Food Safety Week, when the Food Safety information Council Ltd takes the lead in highlighting the importance of preventing food poisoning to consumers. But do you know when this important week is each year and has your business even done anything to recognise it? It is such an easy thing to do in your business to pint out some of the resources from the FSIC’s website (www.foodsafety.asn.au) and put them up around your business and in your newsletters, but do you know when it is? (The second week of November).
Many in the food industry cannot answer this question either, and it raises the question that if a week that is so important to all of us in the food industry is not known well, or even known that it actually happens at all, do these days and weeks actually do what they are intended to do?
Another important day for us foodies is Global Handwashing Day. As we all know the single most important thing that we can all do at home and in our business to stop food poisoning is to wash our hands when and as required. Once again most of us in the food industry do not even know about this day to encourage this vital food safety control. For your info this year Global Handwashing Day is the 15 October. So how will your business do to recognise it?
There are days to recognise all types of cancers and other diseases, as well as days for awareness of health issues, amongst other days for certain activities, causes, animals and foods.
Some have had cut through and are well known like Cupcake Day for the RSPCA, Shave for a Cure to get funding for blood cancer research, Million Paws Walk for the RSPCA, Red Nose Day to recognise Cystic Fibrosis, Jeans for Genes Day to raise funds for research into genetic disorders, and of course, Greatest Morning Tea for the Cancer Council. How do these get massive attention and many others don’t?
Some are such big issues that a whole week is dedicated to them, like Heart Awareness Week and Food Safety Week.
To complicate this already crowded arena, some days and weeks are run at exactly the same time as others so the impact is spread over the two or three or more.
While most of these days and weeks are run by charities and other health organisations to get the issue / cause / disease recognised and to also raise funds, there are many days / weeks which are actually run by government, like Small Business Week to promote a particular group or topic related to the whole of the country.
It must be believed by all of these groups / government departments / organisations that these days and weeks must have some sort of impact and promote recognition and funding or there would not be as many of them as we now have each year. There is the problem, their success in achieving the funding and recognition, even if only for that day or week, is also their failure. With so many of these days / weeks happening, the impact of each is becoming progressively less, as there is just so much noise out there competing for the public’s attention that each one is at increasing risk of not being noticed anymore.