We are starting to see sets of stars on the products in our supermarket. These are the Healthy Star ratings. These are intended as a simple way of showing customers and consumers whether a specific food is healthy and how it rates using a five star system. Obviously the more stars a food has, the higher the likelihood is that consumers will want to buy the food as it will be seen as healthier.
To manage and evaluate this complex system, the Health Star Rating (HSR) Advisory Committee (HSRAC), was established when the HSR was introduced as a requirement on labelling.
The Guide for Industry to the HSR Calculator Â provides the rules to be followed by manufacturers in determining what star rating their products will have.
This Guide contains specific definitions, including the one for ” food (“as prepared’)”, which is now being reviewed by the HSRAC.
The reason for this review is because there are many foods, eg; powdered soups, sauce mixes and cordials, which can be prepared in several ways, so it makes the comparison between foods potentially unfair and so the HSR will not be consistent or truly representative.
The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation recently recognised this potentially misleading issue and asked the HSRAC to conduct this review.
The public is invited to have it’s say by 30 June 2017. So go to health.gov.au/population-health-andsport-division/as-prepared-rules-forthe-hsr-system/