Food Regulation PartnershipDriving food safety culturein the retail food sector of NSW Retail and Food Service Industry Advisory Group Newington 6 November 2013
The Food Regulation Partnership (FRP) Partnership between local and state government in NSW Established July 2008 – all 152 councils appointed as enforcement agencies under NSW Food Act 2003 Formalised the role of local government in regulating the retail and food service sectors in their local government area Underpinning the FRP is the work that the Authority does in provides support, assistance and networking for council officers – aim: to assist councils work more consistently and effectively
FRP objectives • Reduce foodborne illness in NSW caused by the retail food sector • Achieve better use of local and state government resources including: • reduced duplication of food regulation services • improve food safety response capacity • Support the environmental health profession • Improve communication with the retail food sector • Improve consistency of inspection across 152 local councils and >400 council officers in NSW
Foodborne illness (FBI) is a real life trauma for affected people and the communityas well as a serious risk to business reputation and survivalFood Standards Code - sets out requirements that food businesses must follow to prevent foodborne illness Annual inspection by council officers for compliance Food Premises Assessment (FPAR) (standardised inspection checklist) Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) program Scores on Doors Additional training and capacity building programs run by councils Escalating compliance strategy – warning, improvement notice, penalty notice (Name & Shame), prosecution in extreme cases
‘Name and Shame’ - 8.5M hits over 5 years since 2008Compliance failures in >8,300 published PNsOffence type by food safety risk factor in FSC3.2.2 • 19 (1) Cleanliness of food premises - garbage, food waste, dirt, grease, etc. (21%) • 19 (2) Cleanliness of food fixtures, fittings and equipment - food waste, dirt, grease, etc. (13%) • 24 (1) Prevent entry animals and pests and take all practicable measures to eradicate and prevent the harbourage of pests (13%) • 17 (1) Hygiene of food handlers - maintain easily accessible hand washing facilities with supply of warm running water, soap, and items to thoroughly clean hands (11%) • 6 (1) Food must be stored so it is protected from contamination and environmental conditions that will affect its safety/suitability (8%) • 8 (5) Displayed food must be maintained under temperature control (5%) These top 6 issues account for 70% of all PNs published Associated with introducing or contaminating food with FBI pathogens and conditions that favour growth/persistence of FBI pathogens All factors clearly linked associated with foodborne illness
Councils provide a range of assistance to food businesses • All retail food businesses are required to comply with the Food Standards Code – sets minimum food safety requirements • Food safety failures => major reputation risk for business & sector • Council inspections and follow up help to ensure compliance • Most councils provide technical advice to food businesses • e.g. food safety, construction and fit out of new food premises, pre-purchase and pre-operational inspections • Most councils provide information to food businesses • e.g. newsletters, posters, calendars, websites, fact sheets (some in various languages) • Most councils provide or facilitate food safety training
Food Standards Code • Requirements that must be followed to prevent foodborne illness • Underpinned by Food Regulation Partnership between councils and NSW Food Authority • Annual inspections of food businesses by council Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) • Also supported by information and training provided by EHOs
Food Safety Supervisor • Requires certain food businesses* in the NSW hospitality and retail food service sector to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor • Applies to businesses serving food that is: • ready-to-eat, • potentially hazardous, and • not sold and served in its package *Affected businesses include: restaurants, cafés, takeaway shops, caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels and supermarket hot food sale.
FSS training requirements Affected businesses must appoint a trained FSS FSS must hold a FSS Certificate 125 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) approved to provide FSS training and issue FSS certificate Approved RTOs listed on Food Authority website Aim of training – prevent food handling errors through better understanding Refresher training every 5 years Over 53,000 FSS Certificates issued to date Review of FSS notification requirement – discussed later
Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) Key objective – tool to improve consistency in achieving and inspecting compliance with food safety requirements Based on Food Standards Code requirements Food business can use FPAR to undertake self-assessment Exploring options for universal adoption of FPAR in NSW FPAR updated to include Fast Choices and additional notes field
Scores on Doors • Voluntary program to improve food safety • Covers food service businesses that sell ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food ie restaurants, takeaway, cafes, bakeries, bistros • Excludes - supermarkets, delicatessens, low risk businesses and premises licensed by the Food Authority • ‘Scores on Doors’ informs consumers about businesses compliance with the FSC
Benefits of Scores on Doors • Helps drive compliance and promotes a positive food safety culture • Provides positive promotion for businesses that are compliant and an incentive for non-compliant businesses to improve • Uses the inspection program that is already in place • Would ideally assist all food businesses achieve compliance and therefore qualify for 5 stars (full compliance) • Enhancements will be covered later
Name & Shame Two ‘Offences Registers’ (Name & Shame) hosted on the Food Authority website The ‘Register of penalty notices’ which lists ‘On-the-spot-fines’ The ‘Register of offences’ which lists ‘court fines (prosecutions)’ Both registers work by creating ‘reputation risk’ for any business that is listed
Key messages Compliance with the Food Standards Code is needed to maintain food safety in the retail sector. The partnership fosters the understanding and compliance with these requirements through: • Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) • Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) • Annual compliance inspections by council officers • Support through information/training provided by officers • Scores on Doors • Name and Shame We welcome your input and feedback
Food Safety Supervisor Notification and Evaluation Retail and Food Service Industry Advisory Group Newington 6 November 2013
Food Safety Supervisor Notification • FSS formally commenced for retail food businesses 1 October 2011 (after 12 month implementation period) • Food businesses required to notify their FSS (some exemptions) • FSS notification requirements reviewed in early 2013 • Review found that FSS notification was not contributing effectively to FSS objectives of improving skills and knowledge • Process is underway to allow Parliament to formally remove FSS notification requirement (provided Parliament agrees) • Council EHOs advised of situation and asked not to enforce FSS notification • Parliament expected to consider FSS notification this year
FSS Evaluation The evaluation project comprises 3 components: • Food Authority RTO monitoring/verification data • Food business compliance data (comparing before & after FSS) • Council activity reports • FPAR data from 3 selected councils • Classroom survey of FSS training participants at registered RTO training courses (voluntary for both RTOs and students). The Authority is aiming to have findings and reports published early 2014
Comments to: Contact @ foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
Scores on Doors Retail and Food Service Industry Advisory Group Newington 6 November 2013
Scores on Doors program • Aim • to drive food safety culture • Improve consistency of inspections • Introduced as trial program in 2011 • Working Group established • Barriers to uptake • Businesses feel intimidated by the Participation agreement • Business reluctance to display low scores • Perceived lack of value • Perception of additional resource burden by councils • Disagreement about element of the program (FPAR, rating system) • Not enough education about the program (for EHOs and businesses) • Lack of consumer awareness and confusion about the program
Proposed changes to Scores on Doors program Removal of participation agreement – allows council officers to routinely offer certificates to businesses at the end of inspections Streamlined process and guidelines for issuing certificates Simplified reinspection guidance for councils who decide to offer reinspections Improved standardised Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) Redesigned certificates with clearer information for consumers A ‘toolkit’ for councils (factsheets, brochures, web content) Roll out changes in December 2013
The Authority’s campaign to promote Scores on Doors this December represents a significant opportunity for councils and retail food businesses to get involved. The Authority has comprehensive support materials and is happy to work with and support councils that are interested. Thank You
Alternative compliance Retail and Food Service Industry Advisory Group Newington 6 November 2013
Alternative compliance Food legislation contains specific requirements that food businesses must comply with. Some standards contain an ‘equivalence clause’ which allow food businesses to use an alternative method of compliance These alternatives can be used, provided the food business can demonstrate that it will achieve an equivalent outcome and not adversely affect the safety and suitability of the food
Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements • A food business must, when cooling cooked potentially hazardous food, cool the food – (a) within two hours – from 60C to 21C; and (b) within a further four hours – from 21C to 5C;unless the food business demonstrates that the cooling process used will not adversely affect the microbiological safety of the food • A food business must, when reheating previously cooked and cooled potentially hazardous food to hold it hot, use a heat process that rapidly heats the food to a temperature of 60C or above, unless the food business demonstrates that the heating process used will not adversely affect the microbiological safety of the food
…to demonstrate….. In the NSW Food Regulation 2010 a reference in the Food Standards Code: ‘to demonstrate is to be read as a reference to the satisfaction of the Food Authority’
Clause 25 Alternative methods of compliance • Without limiting the ways in which a food business can demonstrate that the temperature and any heating or cooling process it uses will not adversely affect the microbiological safety of food, a food business satisfies this requirement by complying with • a food safety program that meets the requirements for food safety programs in the Act, regulations under the Act, or a food safety standard other than this Standard; • if no such requirements apply to the food business, a ‘food safety program’ as defined in this Standard; • a process that according to documented sound scientific evidence is a process that will not adversely affect the microbiological safety of the food; or • a process set out in written guidelines based on sound scientific evidence that are recognised by the relevant food industry.
Well documented or validated systems may not require an application to be made. • For all other alternative methods of compliance, the food businesses must: • submit the application form • include any supporting evidence • achieve an equivalent outcome and • demonstrate that is does not adversely affect the safety and suitability of the food • do this prior to the introduction of any alternative method. • The Authority considers each application on its merits and will inform the food business in writing if their application has been successful or not
Encourage businesses to notify the Authority where they intend to use alternative methods of compliance Otherwise they may run the risk of being found not to comply with specific regulatory requirements In the first instance, retail food businesses should contact their local council for assistance or for businesses that operate in a number of LGA’s they should come to the Authority.
Recent alternative compliance submissions Use of electrolysedwater for use as a cleaner/sanitiser and for fresh produce water reuse alfalfa seed disinfection extended storage times for sushi electrolysedwater for use as a cleaner/sanitiser and for fresh produce Cooling of hot roasted chickens
Alternative Compliance or Consistent Interpretation? The Authority has received a number of enquiries from councils and businesses concerning interpretation of compliance with 3.2.2 specifically around issues of display of food and minimising the likelihood of contamination. Examples of this include olives and bread and labelling provisions for cheese in assisted service cabinets. The Authority has reviewed these matters and the information submitted by the businesses. Intention is to provide guidance to councils and business to assist consistency of compliance with3.2.2. This process strongly aligns with recommendations from the evaluation of the Food Regulation Partnership that was conducted in 2011 that the Authority take a renewed focus on regulatory consistency and also strengthen its role in assisting councils resolve food regulatory issues.
Revised Process Review found many different points of reference within the Authority. Need to have a standardised approach to this to streamline approach within Authority and improve consistency of response. Proper delegated sign off for all approvals Communication of outcomes to relevant parties where relevant.
Comments Were you aware of this? Have you used it? Do you have any comments or suggestions?
Comments & suggestions to: Contact @ foodauthority.nsw.gov.au THANK YOU
Case Study: Salmonella outbreaks, business impacts and risks Retail and Food Service Industry Advisory Group Newington 6 November 2013
Bad mayonnaise poisons 140 people Salmonella victims Marcelo Solar sits with his wife in Calvary Hospital. Source: Canberra Times, May 17 2013. Photo: Jay Cronan
What’s in the public domain… Extract from business Facebook page, 5 June 2013 Update from the Canberra Times Today - All eggs have been removed from our menu since we've reopened."A Victorian egg supplier is under investigation and one person has ongoing health issues following Canberra's largest salmonella outbreak, which has left health professionals ''struck by the severity'' of the symptoms and high infection rate."Dr Kelly confirmed ACT Health was monitoring the Copa since it reopened about a week after the outbreak. He said the authority established a short period of increased inspections for the establishment, and so far had not discovered any issues.''They're fine. They'd done a complete refit before the incident, so there wasn't any of that sort of hardware problems to fix,'' he said.''Really, it was just the raw eggs. I really wish people would just stop using them.''http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/supplier-of-eggs-under-scrutiny-20130605-2nqyj.html SUPPLIER OF EGGS UNDER SCRUTINY WWW.CANBERRATIMES.COM.AU
Most common Penalty Notice breaches 19 (1) Cleanliness of food premises - garbage, food waste, dirt, grease, etc. (21%) 19 (2) Cleanliness of food fixtures, fittings and equipment - food waste, dirt, grease, etc. (13%) 3.2.2 24 (1) Prevent entry animals and pests and take all practicable measures to eradicate and prevent the harbourage of pests (13%) 17 (1) Hygiene of food handlers - maintain easily accessible hand washing facilities with supply of warm running water, soap, and items to thoroughly clean hands. (11%) 6 (1) Food must be stored so it is protected from contamination and environmental conditions that will affect its safety/suitability – e.g. temperature abuse. (8%) 8 (5) Displayed food must be maintained under temperature control. (5%)
Penalty Notice frequency and consequences • These top 6 penalty notice issued account for 70% of all PNs published • All associated with potential to either: • Contaminate food with harmful pathogens OR • Create conditions that favour growth/persistence of pathogens
http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/science/foodborne-illness-case-studies/aioli-using-raw-egg-salmonella-typhimurium/http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/science/foodborne-illness-case-studies/aioli-using-raw-egg-salmonella-typhimurium/ Foodborne illness case study Albury Burger Bar, January 2010
Albury Burger Bar – the business Popular eatery, established by husband & wife team, Nov 2008 Good reputation in town, well frequented Promoted foods on basis of healthy, free range Good compliance history with local council