Food Safety

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INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC

Food Business Inspections

Council Environmental Health Officers inspect all food businesses in the Gwydir Shire once each year to ensure they are meeting their legal food safety requirements.

Food Complaints

How can Council help me with food complaints?

Our Council Environmental Health Officers investigate a range of food complaints within the Gwydir Shire Council area including:

  • single case food poisoning
  • food handling
  • food contamination or foreign substance in foods
  • the hygiene of a food premises

To make a food complaint, please contact the Council on 02 6724 2000.

Food Poisoning

If you suspect you have food poisoning, please seek medical help immediately. All complaints should then be made to the NSW Food Authority Contact Centre:

  • Phone 1300 552 406, Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 5:30pm
  • Voice mail service is available after hours on 1300 552 406
  • Email contact@foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
  • Fax (02) 9199 8253 (within Australia)

     

If you file a complaint about food poisoning, please have the following information:

  • the nature, time and location of the incident
  • details of the restaurant, function or event where you believe you consumed the contaminated food including full street address details
  • if anyone has become ill, their symptoms and when they started to become ill
  • what they ate at the suspected meal and what others ate as well, including dips and sauces
  • if there is any left-over food that could be tested if an officer determines this is warranted

 Food Recalls

A food recall is an action to remove from distribution, sale and consumption, food which may pose a health and safety risk to consumers. Food recalls are coordinated and monitored by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Gwydir Shire Council does not coordinate or enforce food recalls. All complaints should be made to the NSW Food Authority Contact Centre.

  • Phone 1300 552 406, Monday to Friday - 8:30am to 5:30pm
  • Voice mail service is available after hours on 1300 552 406
  • Email food.contact@dpi.nsw.gov.au
  • Fax (02) 9647 0026

Name and Shame Register (Food Safety Offences)

Gwydir Shire Council Environmental Health Officers inspect most premises that sell food in the region. Other premises are inspected by the NSW Food Authority.

On occasion, Council offices will issue penalty notices but only after considerable efforts have been made to rectify a situation with the operators of the food business. Serious food safety offences may result in penalty notices being issued by Council without warning. The NSW Food Authority also issues penalty notices, usually in relation to premises ordinarily inspected by the food authority.

Individuals and businesses may receive either a penalty notice for their alleged offence or be prosecuted before a court.

If Council issues a penalty notice, details are provided to the NSW Food Authority who publishes lists of businesses that have been issued with penalty notices or found guilty before a court for breaching food safety laws. This is known as the Name and Shame Register. Visit the NSW Food Authority Offences page to find out more.

For more information please contact the following:

INFORMATION FOR NEW AND EXISTING FOOD BUSINESSES

If you operate or intend on operating a food business, you need to be aware of the relevant health, planning and environmental issues associated with the business. As well as applying to Council to establish a new business, alter or relocate an existing one, operators need to comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) Food Standards Code.

FOOD SAFETY

For food to be safe for us to eat, it must be free from physical, chemical or microbial contaminants. Of these hazards, microorganisms represent the highest food safety hazard to people. Microorganisms are able to develop resistance to environmental stresses (such as heat and cold) and can grow in many foods and conditions. The social consequences of food-borne disease include both temporary and serious chronic illness and even death.

If you have been dissatisfied by the food safety of a food business operating within the Inverell Shire Local Government Area, you can make a complaint by using the Food Complaint form at the bottom of the page and submitting to Council.

More information regarding Food Safety can be found on the Food Authority website.

The following Fact Sheets are provided to assist in limiting the risk of food illnesses.

For more information and additional fact sheets please visit the Food Authority Website.

STARTING A FOOD BUSINESS

Notification of a Food Business

All food businesses trading within the Local Government Area must register with Gwydir Shire Council. This is a requirement under the Food Act 2003 and this information is used to create a Register of all Food Premises in the Area. Penalties apply under the Food Act 2003 for failing to Notify Council of conducting a food business. Notification is satisfied through the completion of the Retail Food Business Notification Form below. Some types of food businesses will require a licence from the food authority. For more information please visit the Food Authority Website.

Food Safety Supervisor

The Food Act 2003 (NSW) requires certain food businesses in the NSW hospitality and retail food service sector to have at least one trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS).

The FSS needs to have gained specific units of competency under the national Vocational Education Training system. The NSW Food Authority’s FSS program was established to help reduce foodborne illness in the hospitality and retail food service sectors in NSW by improving food handler skills and knowledge. The program also aims to provide food businesses with high quality and consistent training by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that has been approved by the Food Authority.

Kitchen Fit Out

All food businesses must be designed and constructed to satisfy the requirements of Food Standards Code 3.2.3 – Food Premises and Equipment. The Australian Standard AS 4674:2004 – Design, construction and fitout of food premises is a method of compliance with the Food Standards Code and is usually a requirement as a condition of a local council Development Consent. If a food business is being developed under the provisions of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 the premises must satisfy the requirements of AS4674:2004. Contact Council’s Environmental Services on 02 6724 2000 for further information and to determine if a Development Application is required.

Further information regarding a kitchen fit out can be found within the Food premises design, construction and fit-out guide below.

MOBILE VENDING

Mobile food vendors and similar retail food outlets need to notify the local council of their business and food activity details. You can apply for a Mobile Food Vending License by contacting Council’s Environmental Services on 02 6724 2000.

Inspections of mobile food vending vehicles are conducted by council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) who are authorised officers under the Food Act 2003. The frequency of inspection is at least once per year. They check that good food safety practices are in place such as temperature control, cleanliness, hand washing and labelling.

Further information is available at Food Authority Website or contact Council’s Environmental Services on 02 6724 2000.

WATER CARTING

If you wish to begin a water carting business, you are required to notify the local council of your business details.

The NSW Guidelines for Water Carters document is a guideline to help water carters provide safe drinking water and comply with the requirements of the Public Health Act 2010, the Public Health Regulation 2012, the Food Act 2003 and the Local Government Act 1993.

Water is available through Standpipes at Warialda, Bingara, Gravesend and North Star by using $1 and $2 coins, at a cost of $3.00 per Kilolitre.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Council’s Environmental Services on 02 6724 2000.