Food Safety & Hygiene
Food safety practices are essential for the health and safety of our community. To minimise the potentially serious impact upon the health and wellbeing of the community, as well as the financial viability of their business, food business operators must ensure that relevant food safety standards and requirements are satisfied at all times. Food business operators and food handlers need to ensure that food is protected from chemical, microbiological and physical contamination.
Chemical contamination of food may be from pesticides, cleaning agents, or other substances stored in close vicinity to food.
Microbiological contamination of food may occur from the presence and growth of fungi and bacteria on food, through poor storage practices, incorrect temperature control, insufficient cooking, and cross contamination of raw meat products with ready to eat foods.
Physical contamination of food may occur from substances such as glass, metal or wood, dropping into foods not covered during storage and/or food preparation.
Consuming contaminated food may result in a foodborne illness, and it is estimated that 4.1 million Australians are affected each year, with symptoms ranging from mild stomach cramps, to flu like symptoms, or severe vomiting and gastroenteritis. The symptoms can be unpleasant and for some groups they can be quite serious.
Retail Food Operations
Council's Environmental Health Officer (EHO) keeps a register of all retail food premises in Broken Hill, and conducts regular inspections of these businesses to ensure the maintenance of a satisfactory food safety and hygiene regime.
The EHO has been trained in all aspects of food hygiene, from constructional requirements to proper food handling techniques. The EHO's role is to educate all people working in and around the food industry to ensure the highest level of food safety possible for consumers.
All food businesses, including mobile food vendors and temporary food stalls, must comply with the requirements of the Food Act 2003 and Food Regulations 2015 as well as relevant Australian Standards.
During food premises inspections, the EHO uses the Food Premises Assessment Report (FPAR) checklist to ensure consistency in the evaluation of the premises within Broken Hill, in assessing that an adequate standard is being maintained in: general hygiene and cleanliness; pest control; temperature control; and food handling practices.
Food safety and hygiene at home
The following link has some very useful information on safe food handling and cooking at home Food At Home.