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Food Safety and Inspections

Council's Role in Food Safety

Council is committed to achieving a safe, health and active community through preventative approach to food safety and public health.

The Food Act 1984 sets out the regulatory requirements for the sale of food in Victoria.

The Act ensures:
• Food for sale is both safe and suitable for humans to eat
• All types of food businesses (fixed, home based, temporary and/or mobile) are registered with Council so they are regularly
monitored
• Staff are trained and food safety programs implemented
• The Food Standards Code in Victoria is applied to all food sales.

Council helps food businesses identify the areas where things can go wrong and provides guidance on what is required to prevent food from becoming unsafe or unsuitable.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH OFFICERS

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) are responsible for implementing the Food Act 1984 through registration, monitoring and education.

Council's EHO's

• Manage the registration, renewal and transfer of registration of food premises.
• Help new food business owners and community groups understand the food safety requirements for their business
• Undertake food safety inspections and risk assessments of food businesses and community groups who sell food
• Have food samples analysed to check compliance with food standards and labelling requirements
• Investigate complaints of food safety risks or food poisoning
• Provide food safety education across the community

Food Safety Assessments and Inspections

For the benefit food businesses and consumers, Council's Environmental Health Department undertakes annual food safety assessments and regular inspections of all food premises within the Shire.

During assessments and inspections many aspects of the business are assessed, including the cleanliness of the kitchen area, food handler hygiene, food integrity and food handling techniques. Further information is available in Council's Food Safety Risk Assessment Guide.

Food premises are also assessed to ensure that they prepare safe food and comply with the current Food Safety Standards. Copies of these standards can be found on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website.

Food Safety Supervisors

All food business owners in Victoria must ensure their staff members have the skills and knowledge required to safely handle food in their roles. Many food businesses will need to nominate a Food Safety Supervisor to make sure of this. Visit the Department of Health for for further information regarding Food Safety Supervisor , food safety training skills and knowledge.

Food Safety Program

In Victoria, all class 1 and 2 food premises need a food safety program.

A food safety program is a written plan that shows what a business does to ensure that the food it sells is safe for people to eat. It is an important tool to help businesses handle, process or sell potentially hazardous foods. This is necessary to maintain safe food handling practices and protect public health.

Some food businesses may use a registered template, and some may use an independent, audited program. Most businesses choose to use the department-developed food safety program template for class 2 retail and food service businesses such as Foodsmart. For further information visit Victorian Department of Health website.

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