With a review of the Food Safety Standards under way in Australia, it seemed a good time to do a reminder about what is the international standard for food safety – HACCP.
For thos who don’t know HACCP is Hazard analysis Critical Control Points and it was originally developed for use in those companies which made the food for the astronauts of the 1960s.
It has therefore been the internationally recognised standard for food safety for more than 50 years and has had very little modification in all that time.
It is all based on the Seven HACCP Principles and, now, 12 steps. The following is a summary of those Principles and steps
THE SEVEN HACCP PRINCIPLES
Principle 1 – Conduct a Hazard Analysis
Using a flowchart of the food process, an analysis is done on each step to determine all of the potential food safety related hazards. These hazards are typically about temperature, stock rotation, contamination, cross-contamination, allergens and need to consider all of the seven ps of each step; people, product, process, premises, plant, procedures, and paperwork
A Risk Assessment Guide is then used to determine the risk of each identified hazard. Risk is a mix of how often (frequency) and how bad (severity) and is usually shown as a H (High), M (Medium) or L (Low).
Both the Hazard Analysis and the Risk Assessment are shown on the HARA (Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment). Needs to be reviewed whenever there is a change to any of the seven ps.
Principle 2 – Identify the Critical Control Points
A critical control point (CCP) is a point, step or procedure at which control can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels. A Decision Tree is used to determine if each identified hazard with a medium or high risk is a CCP or simply a Control Point (CP). These are usually given numbers in the order they are determined not in priority. Shown on the HARA.
Principle 3 – Establish Critical Limits
This is shown on a document called the HACCP Table and identify the specification required for each CCP. As an example for a temperature CCP, the Critical Limit will be a specific temperature or range that must be achieved for that CCP to be in control.
Principle 4- Monitor CCP
Shown with the Critical Limit on the HACCP Table, this is what is controlled to monitor each CCP to keep it under control. Will include how it is done, the frequency, and who is responsible. It may be a summary and reference a specific written procedure.
Principle 5 – Establish Corrective Action
Corrective Actions are those taken to bring a CCP back into control if it deviates from the Critical Limits. The Preventative Actions are those taken to prevent it from falling out of the required Limits again. Both actions need to be shown on the HACCP Table for each CCP.
Principle 6 – Verification
Shown on the HACCP Table, these are the actions taken to confirm that the CCPs and the supporting system, will include a sign off on the records by a supervisor / manager, internal audits and scales up to microbiological testing of the process and product by registered labs, depending upon the actual CCP. This should be linked to the Verification Schedule.
Principle 7 – Recordkeeping
Shown on the HACCP Table, these are the proof that the CCP was under control and that the food is being made safely. Will include not only process records, but calibration, audit reports, micro reports, training records, maintenance records, meeting minutes and others.
The HACCP documents should not be developed by a single person as there is a much higher likelihood that hazards and other parts of the Principles will be missed. So a HACCP Team must be created and supported, with regular minuted meetings.
The HACCP documents form only part of the full HACCP Plan. The Plan incorporates all of the mandatory requirements in the Food Safety Standards, including; Good Manufacturing Pracices (GMP), pest control, training, cleaning, temperature control, stock rotation, and others.
THE 12 STEPS
So knowing that a HACCP Plan is required for a business, what steps need to be followed for it to be developed and then maintained;
CREATE THE FOOD SAFETY / HACCP TEAM
DESCRIBE THE FOOD IN GREAT DETAIL
DESCRIBE THE INTENDED CONSUMER AND HOW THEY ARE GOING TO CONSUME THE FOOD
DIAGRAM THE PROCESS FLOW, FROM RECEIVING TO SHIPPING
VERIFY THE PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM
CONDUCT A HAZARD ANALYSIS
DETERMINE CRITICAL CONTROL POINTS
SET CRITICAL LIMITS
ESTABLISH MONITORING PROCEDURES
ESTABLISH CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
VERIFY, THEN VALIDATE
ESTABLISH GOOD RECORD KEEPING
For more information – go to http://www.fao.org/3/a1552e/a1552e00.htm
The following is a recall notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
Roza’s Gourmet dip
Date published: 23 May 2019
Roza’s Gourmet is conducting a recall of Miso & Edamame Dip, 160g. The recalled product has been available for sale in Independent stores (including IGA and Harris Farm) in the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, and select grocers in Hong Kong.
Best Before: up to and including 23 JUNE 2019
A processing issue has been identified which may potentially lead to a risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Food safety hazard
Listeria monocytogenes may cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies, the elderly and people with low immune systems.
Country of origin
What to do
This product should not be consumed and should be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.
For further information please contact 1800 259 769.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com