Regulatory food safety auditing system in WA

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR WA FOOD BUSINESSES SERVING FOOD TO VULNERABLE PERSONS (updated 20 May 2020)

RE: REGULATORY FOOD SAFETY AUDITS 

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Australian Government has advised of increased precautions being necessary to restrict the movement of visitors and employees in facilities caring for vulnerable persons. The Department of Health has therefore decided to temporarily suspend regulatory food safety audits of premises serving food to vulnerable persons, until 31 May 2020. The changes to the auditing arrangements apply to only those food businesses captured by Standard 3.3.1 – Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons, of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).  

Food businesses that provide food to vulnerable persons, as defined by Standard 3.3.1* of the Code, must adhere to safe food practices and continue to ensure that they operate in accordance with their verified Food Safety Program. To this effect records must be maintained and available when auditing recommences.

The Department of Health will continue to monitor this evolving situation, and when the situation changes will provide confirmation when the above food businesses can commence booking their regulatory food safety audits.

If you require further information please call 9222 2000

* ”Food businesses that process or serve potentially hazardous food for hospital patients, aged care recipients, children in child care centres and vulnerable people receiving other services will generally fall within the requirements of this Standard, provided the food is intended for six or more vulnerable persons.  This Standard also applies to delivered meals organisations that process potentially hazardous meals intended for six or more vulnerable persons”

Update - The Temporary Suspension of Regulatory Food Safety Audits will not be extended beyond 31 May 2020

The Department of Health will not be extending the temporary suspension of regulatory food safety audits of premises serving food to vulnerable persons passed 31 May 2020. This does not preclude regulatory food safety auditors and food businesses resuming regulatory food safety audits prior to 31 May 2020.

The original temporary suspension gave a 2 month deferment on audits due from 27 March to 31 May because of the increased precautions being necessary to restrict the movement of visitors and employees in facilities caring for vulnerable persons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rapidly changing situation and the easing of restrictions under the Visitors to Residential Aged Care Facilities Directions (No 2) regulatory food safety audits should now be possible within those settings (with practical measures being taken to prevent contamination). 

Therefore the audits that were due within the prescribed time frame must now be completed by 31 July 2020. The Department is mindful that those audits due in early April should be completed as soon as possible by the end of June preferably, but where this is not logistically practicable by 31 July at the very latest. Additionally, it is acknowledged that due to this unprecedented event, audit dates due for the remainder of the year may be difficult to achieve however, audits should not be delayed by any more than two months where practicable. The relevant enforcement agency (local Government) or Department of Health should be notified of any audit that will be carried beyond the two month limit.     

The following documents and forms detail how the food safety auditing system operates in WA


Fact sheets and guidelines

Policy documents

Forms

Food Act 2008 Regulatory Food Safety Audit Report Section 102 Approved Form (Word 101KB / PDF 31KB)

Food Act 2008 Regulatory Food Safety Audit Report Section 102(5) Approved Form: Notification of Critical Non-Compliance (Word 53KB / PDF 13KB)

Last reviewed: 11-11-2020
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate