NSW government says safer food being served up in NSW

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd September 2012

Food safety standards in retail food and foodservice outlets across NSW have increased significantly,  New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said in an announcement  today.

Ms Hodgkinson said the number of retail food outlets which comply with food safety standards has more than doubled since 2008.

“Businesses are making more of an effort to ensure their workplaces are clean and hygienic which is great news for consumers,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

The Minister referred to the food regulatory enforcement regime in her State as  a “partnership”  between the New South Wales Authority and municipal councils.

“The evaluation of the Food Regulation Partnership found compliance rates lifted to 94 per cent in 2010-2011, ”  Ms Hodgkinson said.

“With improved compliance, food being served to customers is generally safer, resulting in an overall decreasing trend in foodborne illnesses over the past five years.

“It is great to see the partnership between the NSW Government’s Food Authority and local councils is well on track. The partnership ensures the responsibility to inspect food premises is shared between the authority and local councils.

“Inspection targets are now being met by 95 per cent of councils, compared to 43 per cent in 2008. Inspectors have been out in force ensuring food businesses are adhering to the NSW food safety laws.

Ms Hodgkinson said it was pleasing the majority of retailers have expressed their satisfaction with improved food safety surveillance.

“Around 60,000 inspections are carried out Statewide each year for retail food outlets,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The boost in food safety standards can be attributed to increased surveillance and activity of council inspectors, and programs such as the Government’s ‘Scores on Doors’ scheme, the Name and Shame register and Food Safety Supervisor Program which assist in getting the food safety and hygiene message out to food businesses.

“Just last week a strong warning was issued to all businesses after some fast food chain stores were added to the Name and Shame Register.

“The health and safety of the community is the Government’s top priority,” Ms Hodgkinson said.