Food Safety

What is Food Safety & Hygiene ?

It is protecting food from chemical, microbiological and physical spoilage. It is preventing food 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.

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

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 NSW legislation  and Australian standards

Inspections

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.

Conclusion

The decision to open or run a food business is large enough without entering the environment not knowing all the requirements set down by legislation and policies in place within your local government area. Environmental Health Officers are always available to give advice in relation to these matters and should be the first contact when entering the food industry.

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