FSANZ new proposals on ‘Nutritive Substances’, ‘Novel Foods’, and Horticulture Processing Safety Standards

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 27th March 2012

Food Standards Australian New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on three proposed sets of changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Nutritive Substances and Novel Foods: New approach

FSANZ has released a consultation paper on a proposed new approach to regulating both ‘nutritive substances’ and ‘novel foods’.

Under the current Food Standards Code, ‘nutritive substances’ are “foods that are not normally consumed as food on their own or used as an ingredient”, for example an amino acid. ‘Novel foods’ are defined as foods or substances that don’t have a history of human consumption.

However, according to FSANZ, there had been some difficulty in interpreting these definitions, which is leading FSANZ to explore a new approach.

Under the proposal, definitions in the Code for these substances and foods would be removed completely and be replaced with criteria for eligible foods.

FSANZ is welcoming comments from government agencies, public health professionals, industry and the community on the application. The closing date for submissions is 21 May 2012.

Horticulture processing Safety Standard Update

FSANZ has also released a report and called for submissions in response to the report on the proposed new processing safety standards for fresh produce including fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, tree nuts and edible flowers.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon said this work was part of a series of national food safety standards which apply throughout the food supply chain – from paddock to plate.

“Surveys show that the horticulture sector does a good job in managing food safety risks associated with fresh produce,” Mr McCutcheon said. “The majority of fresh horticultural produce grown in Australia is produced under industry-based food safety schemes.

“However, food safety hazards can occur which can cause illness in the community and costs to industry. FSANZ is exploring if regulatory or additional non-regulatory measures are needed to manage these hazards in conjunction with existing schemes.”

Comments are invited from government agencies, industry and consumers on the Assessment Report. The closing date for submissions is 21 May 2012.

Call for submissions on minor meat species proposal

FSANZ has also called for submissions on a proposal looking at possible food safety measures for producers and processors of minor meat species and wild game. For more information, click here  to read our separate Australian Food News report about this.