On Friday, I was interviewed by Esther Han, a food reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and we discussed the benefits and problems associated with the NSW Food Authority Name and Shame website.
I will post the article online once I receive the electronic copy of the article, however if you can read the online version of the Sydney Morning Herald article.
Staggering that 1 in 10 business can be listed, and some offended on multiple occasions, however at The Gourmet Guardian we prefer to focus on the positives and recognise the 90% of food businesses that are NOT on the list.
The NSWFA through their local council Environmental Health Officers also have a Scores on Doors program highlighting the businesses doing a good job.
So keep an eye out for the NSW rated 5 star businesses and those that have HACCP Programs in place.
We have multiple HACCP Certified clients in NSW. We will shortly be publishing a list of businesses we can recommend.
Support the businesses doing a SAFE job.
New food laws require certain food businesses in the NSW hospitality and retail food service sector to have at least one person trained Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). Businesses have until 1 October 2011 to appoint their trained Food Safety Supervisor and notify the relevant council. Penalties for not having a Food Safety Certificate in NSW include a $330 fine for individuals or a $660 fine for corporations, plus placement on the NSWFA “Name and Shame” website for 12 months.
Click on the image below to access an online Food Safety Supervisor Training course.
In my previous post, I sent you information on the new audit guidelines for Vulnerable Persons (VP) in NSW.
At the session, John Fallon from the New South Wales Food Authority (NSWFA) explained that there are only 22 approved external third party auditors in NSW.
He provided an enforcement update on all VP audits that have been conducted (by NSWFA employed auditors and external third party auditors).
He indicated that the top TWO problems encountered during audits were:
- Ineffective monitoring records
- Not complying with there food safety program
#1 Non Conformance: “Ineffective” Monitoring records
- Not having records in place
- Missing records or records not available
- Completed records not identifying issues (i.e. Temperatures recorded outside critical limits)
- No recorded corrective action when problems were identified
- Supervisor signing off on incomplete or incorrect records
It is stated in the VP Guidelines that IT IS a requirement for someone to check all completed records. Even though it is not a requirement for records to be signed, we certainly recommend this practice to our clients.
We have a client who purchased from a newsagent, an “APPROVED” stamp and the person doing the checking stamps the monitoring record and signs above where it was stamped. I think this is a simple and effective means of verifying your records. You still need to make sure that the person who does the “approving” actually checks that the record has been completed correctly.
#2 Non Conformance: “Not complying with their food safety program”
Remember a couple of days ago I told you that your program should:
“Say as you do” and you should “Do as you say”.
Consistent areas where Corrective Action Requests (CARs) were raised included:
- Labeling techniques used
- Content of an internal audit – The internal audit process did not include a review of their food safety program. (Note: The findings of the internal audit should reflect what is found at an external audit)
- Good manufacturing practices
- Allergen management
The NSWFA will continue to monitor ALL Vulnerable Persons facilities (including businesses with Third Party Auditor (TPA) approval) and the Proprietor of the facility is responsible for ensuring that an audit is organised.
All VP audits conducted in NSW are reported electronically to the NSWFA. Every month, the NSWFA runs a report on facilities that are overdue for an audit. The following process is applied:
- If overdue by 3 months they will be sent a “reminder letter”
- If overdue by 6 months they will be sent a “warning letter”
- Failure to comply will result in a $1320 penalty for corporations
and $660 for individuals.
All scheduled audits must be conducted within the allocated 6 or 12 month period.
Your license cannot be renewed if there are any outstanding audits that have not been conducted.
On Thursday 9th June 2011, I attended a one day workshop at the New South Wales Food Authority (NSWFA) for all food safety auditors in NSW. While the event was beneficial for all attendees, it was disappointing to realise that less than half of the 22 approved auditors in NSW bothered to attend.
Whenever possible, I attend the meetings the different state regulators have for auditors and I am attending another one in September for Victorian auditors.
Joanne Bulle is a recent addition to The Gourmet Guardian team and she also travelled from Albury to Sydney for the one day meeting.
These meetings are an important forum for the regulator (in this case the NSWFA) to update auditors on resources, requirements, changes in legislation and also to provide an outlet to discuss any problems or concerns auditors may have and to seek clarification on them.
This meeting was no exception. There are two very important changes that have been made by the NSWFA.
The first is they have updated the audit checklist that all auditors are required to complete and the second is that they have revised the guidelines for businesses serving food to Vulnerable Persons Businesses (VP). The audit checklist was updated to match the guidelines.
If you are a VP business, I feel it is vital, if you have not already done so, to download and print these guidelines to ensure you are complying with them.
http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/_Documents/industry_pdf/guidelines_vp_2011.pdf Click Here To Download The Vulnerable Persons Business Guidelines
Your next audit will be made using these guidelines and you will be expected to comply with them. Continue reading ‘New Vulnerable Persons Guidelines Announced by NSWFA’