Food Safety plays an integral role in the food industry to ensure food provided to the general public is safe and suitable for human consumption. Griffith City Council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHO) are authorised officers under the Food Act 2003. Their role is to ensure that adequate food safety practices and processes are in place, such as temperature control, cleanliness, hand washing and labelling.
In 2007, The NSW Food Authority introduced the requirement for local government to implement a mandated food regulatory role. This role required Griffith City Council to conduct food safety inspections within the Griffith area and to routinely submit a report outlining their compliance status to the NSW Food Authority.
Food Businesses such as cafe's, restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries and other retail food outlets must carry out the following minimum requirements:
- Notify their Food Business
- Appoint a Food Safety Supervisor if food they prepare and serve, is ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous (e.g. requires to be kept under temperature control) and NOT sold and served in the supplier's original package;
- Meet the NSW
- Legislative requirements; and
- Prepare for regular inspections Griffith City Council
Scores on Doors
Griffith City Council is currently participating in NSW Food Authority’s Scores on Doors Program which is a voluntary rating system that helps consumers, better understand the level of compliance of food safety in food premises within our local council area.
The aim of the Scores of Doors is to rate a food business’s level of compliance as part of their normal inspection process and in turn the results of the council’s inspection process will become visible to the public. During the inspection, businesses are assessed against a food safety checklist and assigned a star rating reflecting their performance.
Food businesses currently participating in Scores on Doors Program. Current as of 31st December 2018.
Food Businesses who would like to partake in this program can contact Griffith City Council’s Environment & Health Department on (02) 6962 8100.
Notification of your Food Business
All food businesses in NSW are required to notify their food business and activity details to their Local Authority. Organisers for Temporary events involving Food Stalls are also required to notify.
You can notify your food business by contacting Griffith City Council or by completing a Food Notification Business Form and returning the form to Griffith City Council, PO Box 482, GRIFFITH NSW 2680.
Appoint a Trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS)
Retail food businesses such as restaurants, cafés, takeaway shops, caterers, bakeries are required to have a trained Food Safety Supervisor in their business if food they prepare and serve is ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous (i.e. needs temperature control) and NOT sold and served in the supplier's original package.
The aim of the food safety supervisor is to prevent individuals from becoming ill from food poisoning as a result of incorrect handling and preparation of food. An appointed Food Safety Supervisor may be required at times during routine food inspections and must have their FSS certificate on the food premises at all times.
FSS training will only be recognised if it is delivered by a Registered Training Organisation that has been approved by the NSW Food Authority. These organisations are published on the NSW Food Authority’s website: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/retail/fss-food-safety-supervisors
Compliance with the NSW Legislative Requirements
All food businesses need to meet the NSW legislative requirements. A food business must comply with the following NSW legislative requirements:
- NSW Food Act 2003; and
- Food Regulation 2010; and
- Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code; and
- Australian Standard: Design, Construction and Fit out of Food Premises AS 4674-2004.
Griffith City Council’s food safety inspections are based on the requirements outlined in the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code, specifically:
- Standard 3.2.2 (Food Safety Practices and General Requirements)
- Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment, and
- Part 1.2 (Labelling and other information requirements)
Regular inspections of food businesses are carried out by Griffith City Council’s EHOs to ensure compliance with NSW Legislative requirements.
The NSW Food Authority in consultation with local councils have developed “The Food Regulation Partnership” which stipulates the recommended inspection frequency of food businesses based on priority risk groups.
Griffith City Council’s food inspection frequency is based on the following:
- High risk food businesses (e.g. supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, school canteens) shall be inspected twice a year;
- Medium risk food businesses (e.g. service stations, motels, green grocers, bottle shops) shall be inspected once a year; and
- Low risk food businesses (e.g. pharmacies, news agencies selling only prepackaged food) shall be inspected only based on a trigger, such as a food complaint or product recalls.
In addition to regular inspections of food businesses, the Griffith City Council responds to complaints from the public. Complaints are a key way to hear about problems and raise the food industry’s awareness of its responsibility to consumers. Complaints that can be investigated:
- food poisoning
- foreign matter in food
- misleading or incomplete labelling
- illegal sales or serving of food
- incorrect or unhygienic food handling, storage, transport and preparation
- spoilage of packaged or fresh food
- unsuitable or unsafe ingredients
To enable Griffith City Council’s EHOs to assess and, if necessary, investigate complaints efficiently, they will need:
- a description of the problem. If it is suspected food poisoning, this will include:
- time & date food consumed, and what was eaten;
- time & date illness began, symptoms and their severity
- product name, size, and, if packaged, the date on the package
- name & full street address of the premises or manufacturer involved
Try to keep any leftover food or packaging. Food can be kept sealed in a container or wrap in the freezer for most issues, and in the fridge where food poisoning is alleged. Once a food complaint has been made, an officer will contact you. Your name and details will be kept confidential.
If you would like to make a complaint please contact: The Environmental Health Officer on (02) 6962 8100, or e-mail Admin@griffith.nsw.gov.au or write to Griffith City Council, PO Box 485, GRIFFITH NSW 2680. Office hours are 8.15am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.