Additives in the Food Standards Code are ingredients added to food to improve, one of more characteristics or issues related to that food. They can be for several reasons including; enhancing flavour, modifying textures, extending shelf life or even improving appearance.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)is responsible for ensuring that the additives permitted by the Food Standards Code are safe for consumption and achiev what is expected.
To add a new additive to the current list can be either through an Application from outside FSANZ or a Proposal from within.
Usually these processes are about adding another additive to a current category.
However, there is a current Application before FSANZ about a whole new type of food additive. The following is from a current media release from FSANZ and is included here with permission.
Call for comment on a new type of food additive
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an Application to allow a new type of additive under the Food Standards Code.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said the additive is sourced from a particular type of mushroom called ‘sweet osmanthus ear’, and if approved, would be used to preserve non-alcoholic drinks.
“Extracts from the mushroom (known as jelly mushroom glycolipids) are used to protect food from common yeasts, moulds and bacteria that may grow over time.”
“We carried out a safety assessment and found it is safe for use based on the proposed maximum permitted levels the Application calls for.”
“To help people make informed choices about their food, mandatory labelling requirements apply and this food additive will need to be declared on the ingredients list.” Mr Booth said.
To have your say, see our call for comment page.
Submissions close: 17 September 2020. 6pm (AEST)
What happens to my feedback?
Submissions will be published to our website as soon as possible after the end of the public comment period.
We will consider all feedback received through this submission process before making a decision on whether to approve the application.
FSANZ’s decision will be notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.
- How to make a submission
- Read the assessment documents: A1180 – Natural Glycolipids as a preservative in non-alcoholic beverages
So each year for a week each August we recognise the importance of science in our lives. In 2020 this importance is probably more apparent that in any other year since it started in 1997, with all of us being impacted daily by a virus and the scientists who are advising our governments about it.
In previous years there were events all over Australia to get people involved. Although there are still museums and other places in some states still open an having specific Science week activities, the vast majority of the events this year will be done online.
National Science Week 2020 is from 15 to 23 August and is considered an opportunity for everyone to talk science, see science and do science
The major event of the week in the ACT in 2020 is the Selfie Satellite, a flyover of Canberra and surrounds by a Maxar satellite on Monday 17, Wednesday 19 and Friday 20 August. Residents are all being encouraged to do artwork or messages and take them out into their yards so the satellite can snap them all recognising Science Week.
This flyover is just one of more than hundreds of different local events happening across the country and the internet.
For more information about the Events Calendar for each state / territory go to https://www.scienceweek.net.au/
Well, the answer is no. But it depends upon the actual cut according to the Food Safety Information Council. The following is from the FSIC website (https://foodsafety.asn.au/pork-how-to-cook-it/?fbclid=IwAR1Za3y0f1_A1_WfV53ycz2gBk4EPKYk3Rf8Z2JTqJeYApJh_1-shYDms1A) about cooking pork;
“Pork in whole cuts will only be contaminated on the outside so can be cooked to your taste as long as it is browned on the outside. However it is better quality if pork steaks and pieces are cooked to 70°C and roasts to between 70°C and 75°C in the centre.
Pork that is minced, stuffed, rolled or boned or is mechanically tenderised (with small holes in the surface to penetrate into the meat) will be contaminated by bacteria throughout so must be cooked to 75°C in the centre. You can’t tell if it has reached a safe temperature just by looking so always use a meat thermometer”
The Australian Pork Ltd website (https://www.pork.com.au/hints-overview/) gives some tips and recommended methods for cooking pork properly, including the following;
- Like all meat, pork continues to cook after removal from heat. For best results, let your dish rest uncovered for 1-2 minutes in a warm environment prior to serving (except for sausages and mince).
- Always cut meat across the grain to keep tender.
- Avoid frequent prodding of the meat while cooking.
- For best results, meat should be brought to room temperature prior to cooking.
- Marinating can add extra flavour and tenderness, especially on the BBQ.
The following statistics are from an ABARES study from 2020 based article in Food Australia in the July to September 2020 edition. These highlight the importance of export.
90 percent of Australia’s agricultural water usage was used on irrigated crops which make up 30 percent of agricultural production.
Australian agricultural exports are valued at $48 billion.
71 percent of Australia’s agricultural production is exported.
Imported products makes up 11 percent of our expenditure on food and beverages.
In 2019 Australia was in the Top Ten countries in the world in terms of food affordability and availability.
Australia was rated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2019 as equal first for the lowest level of undernourishment
The following are the levels of exported agricultural production;
- Beef and veal – 75 percent
- Sugar – 86 percent
- Rice – 74 percent
- Canola – 72 percent
These statistics highlight just how important export is to our food production and how issues such as COVID-19 which inhibit or stop this vital side to business can have significant rolling impacts.
The following is a notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
28 July 2020
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for public comment on its review of a recent ban on the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products were banned from retail sale in December last year following a review which found these products pose an unacceptably high risk to people in the community.
“In August 2019 Health Ministers asked FSANZ to review the safety of these products after the tragic death of a young man in NSW from caffeine toxicity related to a pure caffeine powder.
“Our risk assessment found small amounts of these substances (less than a teaspoon) can cause severe health effects, including death.
“As these products were banned under an urgent proposal, we are now required by the FSANZ Act to review our original decision and decide whether to reaffirm, amend or repeal it.
“Our assessment of the original decision has confirmed that the sale of pure or highly concentrated forms of caffeine to consumers is an unacceptable risk.
“However, we recognise there are broader issues relating to caffeine in the general food supply that couldn’t be addressed in our urgent proposal due to the time constraints and need to act urgently on these particular products.
“Therefore, our preferred option is to raise a separate proposal to review the regulation of caffeine in the general food supply and determine if additional measures are needed to protect sensitive subpopulations such as children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people sensitive to caffeine.
“The ban on pure and highly concentrated caffeine products would remain in place if a new, separate proposal process is undertaken,” Mr Booth said.
To have your say, see our call for comment page. Submissions close at 6pm (Canberra time) 4 September 2020.
- P1054 – Pure and highly concentrated caffeine products
- How to make a submission
- 2019 FSANZ Review: Safety of caffeine powders and high caffeine content products
0401 714 265 (Australia)
or +61 401 714 265 (from New Zealand)
The following is an updated recall notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
THIS RECALL HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH NEW INFORMATION (IN RED) AS OF TUESDAY 21 JULY 2020. THE FSANZ WEBPAGE FOR THIS RECALL HAS ALSO BEEN UPDATED.
21 July 2020
A new Australian consumer level food recall has been published on the FSANZ website:
Pana Organic Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread 200g
25 June 2020
Updated on 21 July 2020
Pana Organic is conducting a recall of Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread 200g. The product has been available for sale at Woolworths, IGA’s, independent and speciality food stores nationally.
Best Before 05/02/2021
Best Before 24/04/2021
The recall is due to the possible presence of undeclared allergens – tree nuts (cashew and pistachio).
Food safety hazard
Any consumers who have a tree nut (cashew and pistachio) allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.
Country of origin
What to do
Consumers who have a tree nut (cashew and pistachio) allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
1300 717 488
The following is from the Food Safety Information Council Ltd website and is included here with permission. For more information go to – https://foodsafety.asn.au/unpasteurised-milk-and-cheese/?fbclid=IwAR1OZRgSIkCCIU_ftENIozDg71prAq8RSIFK1BlN4RvOtDN0JVp2SIWRh_g
Nearly all dairy products in Australia, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, are pasteurised. This means they have been heat treated for a short period to kill any bacteria. Pasteurisation has done a great deal to reduce food borne disease over the years.
It is illegal to sell unpasteurised (raw) cow’s milk in Australia for human consumption and health authorities recommend that it should not be consumed.
There are also a few unpasteurised hard or semi-hard cheeses imported into Australia including extra hard type cheeses (parmesan types), the Swiss cheeses Emmental, Gruyere and Sbrinz, and Roquefort cheese but these have to undergo strict production processes and testing. They must be labelled that they have not been pasteurised.
Vulnerable people such as pregnant women, people with reduced immune systems, the elderly or young children should not consume raw milk or raw milk cheeses as they can get seriously ill if they get food poisoning.
If you milk your own cow or goat, always ensure that it is healthy and here is a simple method to pasteurise milk at home:
- Using a double boiler, place the milk in the top and water in the bottom.
- Place an accurate, metal-stem thermometer and spoon in the milk during the entire pasteurization process. A metal-stem thermometer is preferred over glass because it will not break.
- Heat the milk, while stirring constantly, to 75°C and hold it at that temperature for no less than 15 seconds. Constant stirring is important for obtaining even distribution of the heat and to ensure that all the milk is heated to 75°C.
- At the end of the 15-second holding time, place the top portion of the double boiler containing the milk in a pan of cold water. Continue stirring the milk to achieve rapid cooling.
- When the milk temperature is below 55°C, replace the cooling water with ice water and continue to cool the milk, with occasional stirring, until the temperature is 5°C or below.
- Pour the cooled milk into clean containers, cover, and store in the refrigerator at 5°C or colder until used.
The following is a media release from the Food Safety Information Council Ltd and is included here with permission.
National warning on backyard chooks after salmonella outbreaks
The Food Safety Information Council today issued a national warning to people with backyard chickens to always wash their hands after handling the chickens or their eggs following salmonellosis outbreaks in Victoria and Queensland.
Council Chair, Cathy Moir, said that a recent salmonellosis outbreak in Queensland affected 17 people including 13 children under 11 years, 5 of whom were hospitalised. In Victoria there were 9 cases of the rarer Salmonella Enteriditis, 5 of which were linked to newly purchased chicks.
‘There have been recent reports of increased sales of backyard chickens and chicks during the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s great to have fresh eggs and for your kids to learn about where their food comes from but backyard chooks and ducks can be a source of Salmonella infections which can cause serious illnesses and, in some people, can lead to chronic conditions such as Reiter’s Syndrome or reactive arthritis.
‘When purchasing pet chickens you should look for vaccinated birds from a reputable commercial source and keep them healthy with medications for parasites including roundworms and tapeworms. Also, if your chickens look unwell check with a vet.
Here are 8 simple tips about how to avoid infections from your chickens and their eggs:
- Keep the nesting materials and litter clean and dry and change it regularly.
- Gather eggs from their nesting places daily to make sure they are fresh. Label them with the date and store in the fridge in a clean, covered container away from other ready to eat foods.
- Carefully check eggs for any cracks, wipe off any visible dirt with a dry cloth or paper towel but don’t wash the eggs in water – this can transfer the contamination into the egg contents.
- Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water and dry thoroughly after handling your chickens and their eggs. If children and grandchildren have been helping, be sure they wash their hands too. The bacteria can live inside poultry enclosures so wash hands even if you do not touch the birds.
- Don’t let children snuggle or kiss the birds, touch their mouth, or eat or drink around chickens and don’t allow chickens inside the house.
- Don’t keep or store chicken food or storage containers in or near kitchens or other food preparation areas.
- Don’t wash the chickens’ food and water bowls in sinks used for food preparation, washing kitchen utensils or for obtaining drinking water.
- Don’t use backyard eggs in egg dishes that will be served raw or only minimally cooked, as the shells are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella than commercially washed eggs, which are washed under carefully controlled conditions.
Find out more about egg safety at https://foodsafety.asn.au/eggs/
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or email@example.com
The following is a recall notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
It is unusual due to the recall reason being an incorrect lid on a product rather than incorrect labelling or something wrong with the product itself.
Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream
Date published: 3 July 2020
Halo Top Australia is conducting a recall of Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream 473 ml. The product has been available for sale at Coles and Woolworths nationally.
Best Before 28 MAR 21; ; Batch Code 9088
The recall is due to non-compliant labelling (in a small number of cases a dairy-free labelled lid may be on a tub of dairy chocolate frozen dessert).
Food safety hazard
Any consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.
Country of origin
United States of America
What to do
Consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
To assist manufacturers and other food businesses with an estimate of what could be included on the nutritional panel of each packaged foods, Food Standards Australia New Zealand has a wonderful tool on it’s website called the Nutritional Panel Calculator (NPC).
Of course, the only certain way of knowing what the nutritional content is of a food is for it to be tested by an accredited laboratory.
With that said, this tool is an absolutely essential part of any product development process for packaged foods, to give an indication of the nutritional panel or even for non food manufacturers like aged care centres to work out an estimate of the nutritional content of their meals to help them address the specific dietary requirements of their clients / consumers / residents.
The NPC has been undergoing a review and update of the database, calculations and spreadsheets and the new version will be available after 19 July 2020.
If you have been using the NPC already, you will need to back up any data you have entered into it as it will be disappearing as of the 19 July 2020. There are details on how to do this on the NPC page.
For more information about the Nutritional Panel Calculator and what is happening with the rollout of the new version go to https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/industry/npc/Pages/Nutrition-Panel-Calculator-introduction.aspx