Failure to manage temperature control has been named by the NSW Food Authority as a target in its program of intensified food safety inspections and audits.

The Food Regulation Partnership of the NSW Food Authority and NSW local councils made 64,230 inspections of retail food sector premises in 2014-15.

This emphasised the NSW government’s message that if you’re in the food business, get your food safety program and systems in order and implemented; because if you don’t, you’ll get caught.

One of the government’s Food Safety Strategy goals is to reduce food-borne illness by 30% by 2021. This recognises that people’s lives are at risk from eating unsafe food.

It is estimated that food poisoning costs Australia $1.25 billion a year.

In the 2014-15 Name and Shame register of regulation-breaching food businesses alone, storage and temperature control topped the breaches, recording 21% of the total.

The NSW Food Authority’s Foodwise magazine (issue 41), provides a comparative analysis of inspections and audits between 2014/15 and 2015/16 by food business sector.

The Authority notes that main audit items prompting corrective action in safe food management were in process control.

Common problems were failure to manage temperature control, failure to complete monitoring records, failure to identify cross-contamination risks, food safety program issues and lack of analytical testing.

Separately, in unannounced facility verification inspection programs during July 2015 and December 2015, the Authority conducted 75 assessments which focused on hygiene and process control. The 10 unacceptable inspections and a 13% failure rate again found issues with temperature control, monitoring records, hygiene and sanitisation and pest control.

Mr Anthony Rowley, CCP’s chief operations officer said,

“It’s surprising that temperature control topped the breaches. Automated temperature monitoring is now affordable for food businesses of all sizes; and it’s really easy to implement. If there’s a problem with your refrigerator’s temperature, you’ll be automatically notified on your phone or via email.”

CCP (www.ccp-network.com) empowers food businesses to make better decisions with a low-cost, sophisticated, plug & play temperature monitoring solution which captures and interprets real-time critical control point information via the Internet.

Commenting on the NSW food safety programs, Mr Rowley said,

“If you’re in the food industry, it’s simply not worth risking your company’s reputation by getting caught breaching food safety regulations. Consumers expect food to be fresh and safe to eat and regulations are in place to protect the community.”

Emphasising that poor food safety management can have serious health and economic effects, the Authority has highlighted the deaths last year of two people and the illness of another 30 affected by a rare strain of salmonella.

In January 2015, the Betta Maid wholesale bakery at Unanderra near Wollongong was found to have supplied unsafe food to Illawarra Retirement Trust’s central kitchen for distribution to 10 aged care facilities in the Illawarra area and the Australian Capital Territory.

Last April, Betta Maid was convicted of 10 offences relating to the handling and sale of unsafe food and breaches of food safety standards, and fined $63,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 in costs.

The company went into voluntary liquidation and the latest report by its administrators says creditors appear likely to have lost more than $200,000.

NSW Food Authority name and shame list: http://bit.ly/2dOoPv2

Read the NSW Food Authority’s Foodwise online at: http://bit.ly/2dyN7L6

Further information:

Anthony Rowley | Executive Director & COO
CCP Holdings Pty Ltd
E: anthony.rowley@ccp-network.com
W: www.ccp-network.com
M: +61 (0) 418 623 998
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