The Australia New Zealand food system is a mutual agreement between New Zealand and Australia to establish and put into practice identical standards of food. The onset of the code food standards in 2002 all over New Zealand and Australia offers the industry increased opportunities in manufacturing new goods and at the same time balance that innovation with the provision of essential data about consumers. There are four food safety and food standards in Australia which include: interpretation and application, programs of food safety, equipment and premises of food production, and general requirements and practices of food safety. The food safety and food standards replaced the local, territory and state government food safety guidelines that were generally contradictory and that seemed to be dictatorial and outdated.
Interpretation and application
This standard describes the interpretation and application stipulations that apply to the other food and safety standards described in the Code. The main aim of the food and safety standards is to make sure that food sold in Australia is safe and suitable for consumption. According to the food safety standards, if food is likely to cause any kind of physical injury to an individual who is likely to consume it later, then such food is not safe (Watson 58). Food is not considered unsafe simply because its chemical composition or its natural nutritional properties may lead to undesirable effects only in people with sensitivities or allergies that a majority of people do not have.
For the objectives of the food safety standards, food is unsafe when it has perished, depreciated, or spoiled to an extent that it changes its intended use, it has some perished, depreciated, or spoiled elements that change its intended use, is a product of a dead animal that has occurred by means other than slaughter and has not been proven by any regulation to be safe for consumption, it has chemical or biological elements or other materials foreign to the nature of food.
Nonetheless, for the objectives of the same food standards, food is not unsafe simply because the amount of veterinary or agricultural chemicals does not contradict the code of food standards, the amount of non-metal and metal elements in the food does not contradict the amount permitted by the code of food standards or if it contains elements that the code of food standards permits.
Food safety programs
The basis of this standard is the global principle which states that by controlling potential hazards during production, food is kept safe. The Australian council agreed that programs of food safety will be required in various food businesses. Such businesses are the ones that serve more risky foods to allergic people.
Practices of food safety and general requirements
The food safety standards in Australia describes in detail the requirements of those handling food and food businesses that if they comply with the laid down requirements, will make sure food is safe and does not become contaminated. The food safety standards specify the requirements of process controls that should be met at every phase of food manufacturing (Hirschhorn 11).
Some requirements concern the process of food manufacturing like packaging, storage, display while other requirements address such things as the knowledge and expertise of food handlers and supervisors, sanitation of pieces of equipment and building. This standard applies to each business that deals with food as well as the food handler. For knowledge and expertise of handling food, a food business must make sure that all people that handle food or their supervisors have both the knowledge and expertise in issues that concern food hygiene and food safety.
Proportionate to their work, this standard does not apply to businesses that deal with food concerning people that carry out activities of handling food such as fundraising occasions. This means that the funds that are raised by such events must not be for personal monetary benefit but exclusively go to charitable and community causes and, in such events, the only food that does not pose a harmful risk to people is sold.
A business that intends to deal with food before the food business begins activities of food handling must give a notification to the proper regulation organization of the food business contact details, nature of the business, as well as the location of all other food premises of the food business that lie within the authority of the regulatory organization (Parker 7).
In fulfilling the food safety standards, the food business owner has to occasionally provide answers to the questions that the enforcement agency asks concerning the issues in the form accepted by the appropriate authority. In case of a proposed change to the information provided in the form, the food business also has to give notice to the relevant regulatory organization before making the changes.
A food business is required to take all the necessary procedures to make sure that the only food protected from the probability of being contaminated is allowed in the business. Upon request, the food business is required to provide its name and address of the vendor in Australia, and the proper food designation, to the satisfaction of the officer authorized to obtain such information. The business is required to take all considerable measures to make sure that it receives potentially harmful food that is at the appropriate temperature.
When accepting probably harmful food, the food business is required to take all the necessary procedures to make sure that the food is frozen when being received. When storing such food, a food business is required to store it under controlled temperatures and if the food is meant to be stored frozen make sure that throughout storage the food remains frozen.
In food storage, a food business must store the food making sure that it is protected from the possibility of being contaminated and also that the conditions of the environment will not negatively impact the suitability and safety of the food. In the processing of food, the food business must ensure that only suitable and safe food is processed. The food business is required to take all necessary precautionary measures to avoid the possibility of food contamination.
When processing food that is potentially harmful and that which is not going through steps to control pathogens, the food business should make sure that the time the food stays at temperatures that allow the development of harmful microorganisms is reduced (Ramady 27). When cooling already cooked hazardous food, a food business should cool the food at the required temperatures unless the food business reveals that the process of food cooling will not negatively impact food safety.
When displaying food, a food business should take all necessary precautions to make sure that food contamination does not occur. When displaying food that is ready to consume which is unpacked the food business is required to make sure that the food display is properly supervised to ensure that food contaminated by customers is eliminated from the display. The food business is required to provide different utensils for serving each food to reduce the chances of food contamination. When packaging the food, the food business is required to use only materials that are fit for such purposes.
Such materials should be unlikely to lead to food contamination. In the process of transporting food, a food business must take the necessary steps to ensure that the food is not contaminated during transportation, transport food that is potentially harmful under controlled temperatures and make sure that potentially harmful food should be frozen when being transported remains as such.
Food premises and equipment
The food premises should be maintained to cleanliness standards where there is no accumulation of recycled substances, dirt, food waste, garbage apart from containers of garbage, or grease. All the equipment, fixtures, and fittings must be maintained to a cleanliness standard where dirt is not accumulated keeping in mind their uses especially vehicle parts used for food transportation. All equipment must also be kept in proper working conditions. Food businesses are required to make sure that drinking and eating equipment is clean and their sanitary conditions are maintained (Sangsuk 32).
Food safety and food standards in Saudi Arabia
In the whole of the gulf region, Saudi Arabia is the fastest and the biggest developing market for the most valuable foodstuffs. In the recent past, the government adopted an agricultural strategy aimed at eliminating the crops that use a lot of water. SASO which is the standards organization for Saudi Arabia is the sole institution that sets national safety standards for food and other products, methods of testing, environmental setting, definitions of products, and measurements.
A food safety program is an assortment of various documents which indicate that the business owner has recognized and dealt with all the risks that may affect their food business. The following are likely to be included in a food safety program: records of an analysis of critical control points, records of staff training, records that indicate a regular system check and documents which reveal the completion of the task.
The food sector in Saudi Arabia has various objectives which include: food safety for human consumption, establishing a food policy that is clear and making proper plans to meet the goals of the food safety policy. In this nation, the food sector has various functions such as: accepting the nation’s food policies and developing necessary plans that guarantee food safety and healthy food, developing health requirements and food standards that should always exist in the food business and those handling food.
Eligible products include poultry and products of poultry, frozen or fresh meat and further processed meat products. Saudi Arabia requires that imported Poultry and their products come from slaughter organizations and which take part in the agricultural marketing service (Ekobai 1). Products that are not eligible to enter Saudi Arabia include pork imports and their products. If the products are meant for diplomatic purposes, then they may be allowed to enter the country.
The food safety standards in Saudi Arabia have clearly stated the labeling requirements of food products. All products are required to be stored with the temperature for storage indicated on the boxes to clearly show the type of product. Both the dates of manufacture and expiry should be clearly stated on the boxes. Food that is packed should be labeled in Arabic or have an Arabic translation slip on the box. The label of the product must have at least the name of the product, name of the packer, list of constituents, product’s shelf life, place of origin, and if necessary, instructions.
For a majority of foods except for some specific perishable products, Saudi Arabia adopted a standard of shelf life which must be according to the compulsory expiry dates established by SASO. The shelf date must be indicated by an understandable and definite expiry date.
Foodstuffs imported into Saudi Arabia should not contain animal products that are GE. In case the product contains such an ingredient, such information should be clearly stated on the label (Taylor 1). The biotech statement should be unambiguously written in the Arabic language. The label should also contain nutrition statements such as the amount of energy, sweeteners, information about antioxidants.
All materials used in the packaging process including treating or forming packages that come into contact with food must be in the grade of food per the appropriate food safety standards. Such packaging materials must be clean and in a condition that restricts the possibility of contamination of the food. The packaged material should be protected and properly maintained to prevent it from having bad tastes or smells. The container should be impermeable to moisture and be protected from dirt and microorganisms.
The old programs in both nations had unnecessary complexities and costs when representing businesses. They included conditions whose safety and health of the general public could not be validated. The new food safety standards represent global best practices and reflect an approach that prevents the occurrence of foodborne diseases. The new food standards in both systems have been developed to make sure that imports and food businesses in the country provide safe food for human consumption.
The Australian system is very similar to the system of Saudi Arabia. These two nations have established regulatory organizations to oversee the implementation and adherence to the food safety and food standards set by the government. For these two countries, the packaging requirements are similar in all aspects. The containers that transport foodstuffs are required to be extremely clean to limit any chances of food contamination.
The two systems also require that the production and expiry dates be indicated in the labeling. This is basically to show the shelf life of the products. Foods that must be frozen should be stored as such and in the correct refrigeration temperatures (Mars 1). The food safety standards in both systems describe in detail the requirements of those handling food and food businesses to make sure food is safe and does not become contaminated. The food safety standards specify the requirements of process controls that should be met at every phase of food manufacturing.
The system of Saudi Arabia focuses more on the specific elements of the foodstuffs such as nutrition, sweetness, and antioxidants while the Australian system is more focused on the handling of food throughout the manufacturing process. The Saudi Arabian regulation system focuses more on the importation of products while the Australian system is focused on local food businesses. Australia focuses on food safety for human consumption while Saudi Arabia deals with foodstuffs for both human and animal consumption.
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