Food Safety and Public Helath

1. Public Health and Safety

Council's Development Services Department performs the following functions in relation to Public Health:
  • Enforcement of provisions under the Local Government Act 1993 in relation to unhealthy premises.
  • Inspection of food premises for compliance with Food Safety Standards and advice regarding the construction and fitout of Food Premises.
  • Manage On-site Sewerage Management Systems within the Shire.
  • Provide Public Health emergency management in case of disaster or a major pollution incident.
  • Perform Public Swimming Pool inspections for water quality hygiene and pool safety fencing.
  • Perform Private Swimming Pool inspections in regard to pool safety fencing.
  • Assessment of applications to operate Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds, Mortuaries/Undertakers, Skin Penetration Businesses, Hairdressing and Barbershops.
  • Provide educational material and assistance in relation to Food Safety, Environmental Campaigns and Public Health issues.
  • Management and control of Council owned properties including construction, maintenance etc. of buildings.

2. Smoke Free Environment

The Tobacco Legislation Amendment Act 2012 was passed by the NSW Parliament on 15 August 2012. The Act amends the Smoke-free Environment Act 2000 to make the following public outdoor places smoke-free areas from 7 January 2013:

1.         Within 10 metres of children’s play equipment

2.         Swimming pool complexes

3.         Spectator areas of sports grounds or other recreational areas while organised sporting events are being held

4.         Railway platforms, light rail stations and ferry wharves

5.         Bus stops, light rail stops and taxi ranks

6.         Within 4 metres of a pedestrian access point to a public building

3. Food Premises

If you have concerns about a food business please contact Council's Development Services Department on 6972 2266.

Food Handling

Council is responsible for Food Regulation in the local government area, through administration of the Food Act 2003 and its regulations. These incorporate the national Food Safety Standards. As part of its statutory role Council is involved in undertaking regular inspections, food recalls, investigation of alleged incidents of food borne illness or food contamination, and for responding to public health emergencies.

Council carries out food safety work with the support of the NSW Food Authority and the Commonwealth's regulatory bodies.

The Truth About Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is messy.  Learn more about the causes of food poisoning, symptoms, how to avoid it and the truth about carrots and vomit. Click on the link below at your own risk.

http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/fp/food-poisoning

Registration of Businesses

The Food Act now requires that all food businesses register with the relevant authorities various details.

The details Council require are:

Proprietors name and address Nature of food business Location.

An introduction to the Food Safety Standards for charities and community organizations

Charities and community organisations play an important role in our community, and fundraising events are a major contribution to the work of the community. But no one wants people to get sick from the food they eat at these events.

In Australia, the food law places many responsibilities on the official of a charity or community organisation that is selling food, you need to be aware of these responsibilities.

If you understand your legal responsibilities and plan your events properly and in good time, complying with the law is straight forward.

You will need to register with the Food Authority.

4. IM ALERT - Online Interactive Food Safety Program

This web based program allows for food premises and food handlers, within the Shire, to undertake comprehensive food safety training. The program is designed in such a way that new food handlers can undertake full training prior to commencement within the food industry as well as allowing for existing food handlers not only to undertake a full revision but to undertake revision of individual modules for the training.

The program is easy to follow, includes an entertaining presentation as well as interactive quizzes. In addition to this, a training acknowledgement form can be printed upon completion and be kept as part of your staff records.

Simply click on the following address http://www.blandshire.imalert.com.au/

5. Food Safety Supervisor

The Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) will soon be enforced by the NSW Food Authority and Council inspectors will have to ensure that the applicable food businesses have at least one FSS per premises (not per business).

Who does it apply to?

It applies to business processing and selling food that is ready to eat, potentially hazardous and unpackaged.

Which food business does this then apply to?

Restaurants, Cafes, Takeaway shops, Caterers, Mobile Caterers, Bakeries, Pubs, Clubs, Hotels, Temporary Premises, Mobile Food Vendors and Supermarket hot food sales (i.e. cooked chooks).

Who can be an FSS?

Must be nominated by the business owner and can include the business owner, manager, chef, employee, and or contractor. But must meet the following criteria:

Complete the specified trainingHold as FSS CertificateIs not an FSS for another premises or mobile catering businessAuthority is to supervise (Council/NSW Food Authority)

Does the FSS have to be onsite 24/7?

No, however best practice during food handling activities should always apply.

Who is responsible for food safety?

All food handlers must have skills and knowledge related to their food duties to keep food safe.

Business owners must ensure effective food safety processes are in place, notify food business with local council, comply with the Food Standards Code and appoint/notify of the FSS; the business also continues to be legally liable if a food safety breach occurs.

FSS must supervise food handling to ensure it is carried out safely, understand overall food safety processes of the business and works under the direction of the business owner.

What qualifications are required to complete the FSS Certification?

The prescribed units of competency for FSS training in NSW will be as follows:

SITXOHS002A - Follow workplace hygiene procedures AND SITXFSA001A Implement Food Safety Procedures ORSIRRFSA001A - Apply retail food safety practices

When will this come into force?

The transitional period for the business owner to appoint an FSS is within 12 months from the start date of the FSS legislation (still in the hands of the minister to sign). After the transitional period-businesses that change their FSS will have 30 operational days to appoint a new FSS.

Where to from now?

Council is currently working with the West Wyalong TAFE Campus to organise the appropriate training to occur at West Wyalong. At this stage it's anticipated that this training would not occur until later in the year or early next year. However The Temora TAFE will have the training in October of this year. If you are interested in undertaking the training at Temora please contact the Temora TAFE Campus on (02) 6977 3700.

Temora TAFE Campus
Temora Campus (New site in Kitchener Rd)

UnitnSITXOHS002A Follow Workplace Hygiene:
Wednesday, 6 & 13 October, 2010 - 6pm - 9pm

Unit SIRRFSA001A Implement Food Safety:
Wednesday, 20 & 27 October,2010 - 6pm - 9pm

Both units can be completed for $250 or if only one unit is required, the cost is $125.

NOTE: Those wishing to apply for RPL (recognition of prior learning) must contact the campus prior to course commencement.

Remember, each food business must have a FSS appointed in the near future, so your business should have at least one (1) representative attend this course!

6. Guide Dogs and Retail Food Premises

In NSW, Guide Dog users are allowed to enter all public places including the customer areas of food service businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs.

A survey undertaken by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in 2010 revealed 1 in 3 people who use a guide dog have been refused entry to a restaurant in the past 12 months. It also revealed that 34% of Guide Dog users said they had experienced unfair treatment in a restaurant or cafe within the past year.

All Guide Dog users are allowed entry into restaurants under the

· Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Section 9)

· NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 (Section 14 & 59)

· Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Chapter 3, section 24 (1)b) (assistance animal)

Refusing entry to a Guide Dog user can result in legal action for the business owner. A guide dog will usually sit underneath the chair; therefore it is not in the way.

To address these discrimination issues Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has launched a public education campaign called "Guide Dogs Welcome Here" to remind NSW Cafe and Restaurant owners of their legal obligations. The campaign calls on restaurateurs to place a sticker in their window to help show their support and help reverse discrimination.

Business owners can get their free "Guide Dogs Welcome Here" information kits by accessing the website www.guidedogs.com.au or calling Guide Dogs NSW/ACT on 02 94129300.

7. Scores on Doors Food Safety Grading System

Scores on Doors is a food safety grading system for food outlets. The program informs customers about the standard of food safety in food businesses. When a customer enters a Scores on Doors business, they'll see a certificate showing the grade received, displayed at each entrance. Information cards will also be available for customers to explain what the grades mean.

Scores based on inspection results

After businesses sign up, they will be visited by an officer from the local council for an unannounced inspection. Inspectors assign scores against criteria based on food safety legislation and a standard inspection sheet. The scores determined which grade the outlet receives. Businesses have to display their grade, no matter what it is. Grades must be displayed at all entrances to the premises.

Food safety scores:

A

Excellent

The business can be proud of this accomplishment. It achieved the highest level of food safety standards.

The only issues (if any) might include:

  • Administrative issues such as failing to notify food business details
  • A minor, isolated temperature control issue
  • A maintenance issue with no direct impact on food safety
  • A minor, isolated cleaning issue

 

B

Good

The business has good food safety practices. Some minor areas where standards were not met will need to be addressed.

An accumulation of minor issues, for example:

  • Improper food storage practices where no direct food safety risk has been observed, such as uncovered food in storage

 

C

Acceptable

The business has an acceptable standard of food safety performance. A number of areas, although not serious, need to be corrected.

An accumulation of breaches within the premises such as:

  • An accumulation of areas requiring cleaning
  • An accumulation of breaches that have not resulted in the production of unsafe food, for example some uncovered product in storage, a number of minor temperature control issues within the business, and some maintenance issues

 

P

Pending

The business did not achieve an acceptable level of food safety performance in a number of areas. The business will be inspected again to ensure the problems are rectified.

Breaches that generally have been linked to food borne illness.

 

Examples include:

 

Poor hand washing behaviour, particularly by food handlers who are ill.

 

Widespread cleaning, pest control and temperature control breaches within the food business.