Food Stars Pty Ltd

Building food safety programs around the world

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What is a food safety program?

A food safety program is a collection of documents that show how you have identified and managed your food safety risks.  The food safety program may include
  • staff training records
  • procedures that show how to do a task e.g. how to clean an oven, how to receive food in the business, how to store food
  • worksheets that show when a task has been completed e.g. temperature monitoring, cleaning schedule
  • hazard analysis critical control point records that explain how you identified what could go wrong with foods in the business and what steps are taken to make sure that things do not go wrong!
  • administration records detailing who works in the business, who supplies food to the business, what is in products made
  • documents that show you regularly check the system is working.

In summary - a food safety program is your story of what happens in your business.

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What is a food recall?

Sometimes manufacturers need to recall food from the marketplace because it may be unsafe or it does not meet quality specifications. 

Examples of food safety recalls include

  • smallgoods recalled because they are found to contain food poisoning bacteria,

  • foods that are found to contain allergens such as peanuts that have not been declared on the label.


Examples of quality recalls include

  • biscuits recalled because they are the wrong shape or size
  • tinned peas that are missing a colour and so appear white not green

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This stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point.  This is an internationally accepted system of

  • identifying what can go wrong with food at each stage of its processing,

  • working out how to control the process,

  • putting in procedures so the food is safe at all stages of production,

  • recording what happens so you can learn from mistakes and

  • constantly improving the system so the risk of something going wrong becomes less and less and less


HACCP in a nutshell means, spot the hazard, assess the risk, make the changes!


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  Codex Alimentarius

Codex Alimentarius is an international committee established by the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.  Codex representatives from each country get together to develop international food standards to improve health and facilitate trade in food around the world.

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Australian Food Safety Standards

In Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has the role of developing food standards for Australia and New Zealand.   The standards are contained in the Food Standards Code and include standards for composition and labelling of foods as well as food safety.

FSANZ consults with all State and Territory Governments, industry and consumers before applications to change  the Australian Food Standards Code are put to the Australian Council of Ministers for approval.   

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High risk food businesses

These are food businesses that:

  • sell food that, if not handled carefully, could cause severe food poisoning e.g. oysters, mussels, fermented meats
  • sell food to vulnerable populations e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, child care centres
  • sell food to large numbers of people at one time e.g. mine site caterers, defence forces, airlines, caterers, major event organisers

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Food Stars Pty Ltd

Last updated 2 January 2019