28 Jan SA & WA Food Safety Regulations
Food safety in South Australia is looked after by a number of agencies under various legislation. All of these agencies work closely together to ensure that food safety is maintained in South Australia across the food chain – from primary production to the consumer.
For food businesses, enquiries should be directed to the relevant agencies depending on your business type;
- Local Government – for food safety matters within local government areas (Food Act 2001 and Public Health Act 2011)
- Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) – for primary industries (e.g. meat, eggs, seed sprouts) as specified by the regulations under the (Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) Act 2004)
- Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) – for food to be exported from Australia (Export Control Act 1982)
Food businesses have an overarching responsibility to ensure the safety of the food they produce. Under Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), there specific health and hygiene requirements are set out for food businesses. These include responsibilities around the health of food handlers, the hygiene practices of food handlers and other general duties.
Both food handlers and food businesses have specified legal responsibilities to ensure that food is not to be prepared or handled by anyone who is suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.
Additional Regulations apply to primary food production and processing:
The Food Safety program improves food safety in primary industries.
The program aims to:
- lower cases of food borne illness
- create confidence in food industries
- make sure food production and processing businesses comply with standards and regulations
- apply the compliance enforcement policy (PDF 59.0 KB)
- link food production industry to government departments.
Food safety schemes and accreditation
The Primary Produce (Food Safety Schemes) Act 2004 enables Food Safety Schemes (regulations) to apply to primary food production and processing.
Each scheme states:
- the food safety standards that apply to a business
- the accreditation or approved food safety arrangement required
- food safety arrangements.
Compliance and enforcement of WA food businesses
WA local governments and the Department of Health are the enforcement agencies for various food businesses across WA.
Local government enforcement agencies
Local governments are responsible for the administration of the Food Act, the Food Regulations and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and are the enforcement agencies for most food businesses within their local districts.
Note: This includes olive producers and marketers:
- cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets and food retail outlets
- food prepared in a residential home intended for sale
- mobile food vans
- school canteens, childcare centres
- charities, community groups and volunteers that are selling food
- private hospitals and aged care facilities
- pet meat
- abattoirs / boning rooms (that do not export)
- egg producers
- markets and temporary events
- seafood primary production and processing (except bivalve molluscs)
- food manufacturers
Department of Health
Note: These are higher risk establishments:
Under the Food Act and Food Regulations the Chief Executive Officer is the enforcement agency for the following food businesses:
- public hospitals where food is prepared for patients in the hospital
- dairy (primary production, processing, and transportation)
- primary production and processing of bivalve molluscs
- food businesses not within a district (Kings Park and Rottnest, WA Athletic Stadium and the WA Basketball Centre)
- processors of meat and poultry and seafood, including shellfish, that export overseas
- Controlling Authority for knackeries, rending plants, game-meat field depots all forms of abattoirs that meat for export overseas
Compliance and enforcement strategy
Enforcement agencies are advised to adopt a strategic approach to the application of legislative enforcement provisions by developing a compliance and enforcement strategy or policy. This will ensure consistency in enforcement action taken.
Compliance and enforcement action should be a graduated approach of enforcement options, generally commencing with milder options such as issuing an improvement notice and then progressively moving to more severe enforcement options such as prosecution.
The enforcement option will depend on inherent risks and the overall performance of the food business.
The compliance and enforcement tools available to enforcement agencies under the food legislation include:
- improvement notices
- infringement notices
- prohibition orders
- seizure powers
- publication of names of offenders
- action for non-payment of food business registration fees
- legal action through the courts