Current activities

Below are the current activities of the food regulation system. These activities are divided into the three key priorities:
  • Reducing foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella.
  • Supporting the public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity.
  • Maintaining a strong, robust and agile food regulation system.

Page last updated: 04 July 2017

Food Regulation Priorities

2017-2021

Reducing foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella

Supporting the public health objectives to Reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity

Maintaining a strong, robust and agile food regulation system

The way we work

Clear goals and objectives

Clear roles for all committees and clear decision making points
Genuine, effective two way engagement

Full understanding of the issue, (problem), risks, challenges and opportunities
Collection of evidence and information that informs understanding

A full range (whole of system) of policy options generated and evaluated
Implementation issues as a key consideration for policy
Using the best tools that achieve the desired outcome
Focus on achieving consistent outcomes

Government intervention only where there is a market failure-regulation is not the default position
Evaluate for impact and efficiency post implementation considered during development
Promoting the food system to improve stakeholders understanding and confidence

These activities are underpinned

Surveillance and Monitoring activities

Reducing foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella

NameObjectiveLead Authorisation Status
Reduction of foodborne illness To reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella, with a nationally-consistent approach Work is being led by the Strategic Planning Working Group that is Chaired by Mr Jim Dodds, WA Department of Health and Jenny Reid, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. Ministers at their 28 April 2017 agreed to the development of a draft national strategy, to reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella. The strategy is to outline specific interventions across the food supply, and is to include improved transparency through monitoring across the food chain. It will be based on contemporary evidence and is to be developed in collaboration with industry. The draft strategy is to be considered by the Forum at its next meeting in November 2017.
Food safety risk management of horticulture produce. To explore options and provide policy advice on effective interventions to prevent and respond to foodborne illness involving horticultural produce. FRSC members from Queensland, South Australia and Victoria are working together. FRSC The policy is being developed within the following framework
Policy Process stage 'D - Define success'
In February 2017 FRSC agreed that there is sufficient evidence to progress through Gateway 1 of the Food Regulation Policy Framework.
The next phase of the policy development process includes stakeholder consultation.
Food Safety Management for General Food Service and Closely Related Retail Sectors Implementation of the revised Policy Guideline for Food Safety Management: retail/food service and completion of the risk management toolkit project. The work is being undertaken by a joint FRSC/Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR) working group that is led by Dr Eva Bennet, the ISFR Chair. In 2011 the Forum endorsed the Ministerial Policy Guideline on Food Safety Management for General Food Service and Closely Related Retail Sectors (the Policy Guideline). The Policy Guideline provides a framework for the development of nationally consistent food safety management arrangements in Australia for the eight sectors within its scope. The work program includes 5 stages:
  1. Determining if current Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 are sufficient to manage food safety risks in these sectors;
  2. Considering evaluation/mapping of current requirements in all jurisdictions (to assist with appropriateness determination);
  3. Creating a list of potential food safety risk management tools;
  4. Considering which food safety management tools should be applied according to risk; and
  5. Determining the best way to implement these in a nationally consistent way.
  1. Complete
 

  1. Complete
 

  1. Complete
  1. State and Territory based stakeholder consultation has commenced.

Supporting the public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity

NameObjectiveLead Authorisation Status
Energy labelling of alcoholic beverages Development of a policy on energy labelling of alcoholic beverages. Work is being led by Mr Jim Dodds, WA Department of Health on behalf of the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC). The initiation of this policy issue was by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) and links back to Recommendation 26 of the 2011 report Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy “that energy content be displayed on the labels of all alcoholic beverages, consistent with the requirement for other food products.” The Forum gave its ‘in principle’ support to this recommendation and requested further work. The policy is being developed within the following framework:
Policy Process stage 'D - Define success'
In April 2017 Ministers noted FRSC will be undertaking targeted consultations in mid-2017.
Investigate labelling approaches for providing information on sugars Develop the evidence base to further investigate labelling approaches for providing information on sugars. Mr Mark Booth, FSANZ, in consultation with FRSC is leading this work. Forum 25 November 2016. The policy is being developed within the following framework.
In April 2017 Ministers agreed to an initial program of work, intended to develop the evidence base to inform the policy issue to be addressed. That report is due to the Forum in November 2017.
Clarify the policy issue in relation to naming sources of fats and oils Undertake work to clarify the policy issue in relation to naming sources of fats and oils and the next steps to provide adequate information to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines. Mr Russell Bates, New Zealand, is leading this on behalf of FRSC. Forum 25 November 2016. In April 2017 Ministers noted the scoping paper on naming sources of fats and oils, including the policy issue and problem definition, prepared by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC).
Ministers agreed to extend the scope of this project to cover all parts of the food label, including the identification of all fats and oils. The project will now move to the next stage which will include the development of regulatory and non-regulatory options. Stakeholder consultation is also part of this stage. The residual issues, such as additional consumer research will also be undertaken as part of this next stage. A progress report will be provided at the next Forum meeting.

Maintaining a strong, robust and agile food regulation system

NameObjectiveLead Authorisation Status
Review of enforcement guideline Update the existing document to capture the elements of best-practice guidelines developed since the finalisation of the existing document and broaden the scope of the document such that it is a compliance and enforcement guideline. A working group that is led by South Australia Health has been established to progress this work. FRSC agreed the 2016 ISFR work program that includes this new project in April 2016.

The project has two components: 
The review and revision of the existing Enforcement Guideline, which now includes a revised appendix 1 (enforcement toolbox). 
The development of new material to describe the consistent approaches used by food regulators to facilitate compliance with the requirements of food regulation in Australia and New Zealand.
Public consultation on the revised draft enforcement guideline will be undertaken for a six week period commencing mid June 2017.
The work is to be completed by February 2018.
Guidance material for Chapters 1 and 2 of the Food Standards Code Guidance material for industry stakeholders to complement revised Chapters 1 and 2 of the Code. This work is being led by New Zealand. FRSC agreed the 2016 ISFR work program that includes this new project in April 2016. The detailed project proposal was agreed by ISFR in August 2016.

The below projects are not aligned with the priorities but will be completed

NameObjectiveLead Authorisation Status
Pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels 2nd evaluation of voluntary uptake of pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels Ms Elizabeth Flynn, Australian Government Department of Health and Ms Julia Edmonds, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries are leading this work.

In 2014 the Forum considered the outcomes of an independent evaluation on the uptake of voluntary Pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels. In light of the results the Forum agreed to extend the existing trial and to undertake a further review in two years.

The evaluation has commenced. For consistency, the Terms of Reference for the evaluation will remain unchanged.
The final report on the review is due to be considered by the Forum in November 2017.
Cost recovery models for the evaluation of dossiers for self-substantiation for general-level health claims Advice to the Forum on cost recovery for Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) evaluation of dossiers for self-substantiation for general level health claims. A FRSC working group chaired by Ms Elizabeth Flynn, the Australian Government Department of Health FRSC member, has been established. Forum A trial assessment of self-substantiated food-health relationship dossiers has been undertaken by the ISFR to gather intelligence.
This trial has been completed and the report referred to the FRSC working group for consideration.

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