Verification of food safety programs

Food businesses that fall within the categories of Standard 3.3.1- Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Populations of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) (external site) must first submit the food safety program (FSP) to the appropriate enforcement agency for a verification assessment.

Local governments are the appropriate enforcement agencies for all food businesses within their district for the purposes of Standard 3.3.1, other than State owned hospitals. The Department of Health (the Department) is the appropriate enforcement agency for Standard 3.3.1 in State owned hospitals.

An FSP verification assessment is an initial assessment of whether a food business has developed an FSP containing elements required by Standard 3.2.1.

Authorised officers from the relevant enforcement agency will need to be satisfied that the FSP, when put into operation, will be likely to enable a food business to meet its obligations under Standard 3.2.1. This only requires a decision to be made on whether the program substantially complies at the time of the assessment.

A tool has been developed to assist with the assessment of food safety programs, the Food Act 2008 Verification of Food Safety Program Guideline (PDF 25KB), which should be read in conjunction with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Safety Programs: A guide to Standard 3.2.1 (external site).

The initial verification assessment is not an approval of the FSP, as an FSP is a living document and once it has been determined that it contain the requires elements it will be the audit process (and the regulatory food safety auditor) that will determine whether the FSP continues to be adequate to control the hazards associated with the processes within the food business.

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