System overview

Page last updated: 21 November 2016

The Australia and New Zealand joint food regulation system is made up of the laws, policies, standards and processes that we use to make sure our food is safe to eat.

The Joint Food Regulation System

The Australian and New Zealand joint food regulation system is a strong system, based on scientific evidence and expertise, that protects the health and safety of consumers. It is a complex system that involves all levels of the Australian and New Zealand governments. Different roles are met by local, state and national government, and international obligations are respected.

The rigorous system reflects the many businesses and stakeholders in the food supply chain, providing a firm platform on which our food industries can operate, and enables choice for consumers.

Policy development

Food policy is cooperatively made by a forum of ministers from Australian and New Zealand government jurisdictions - the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation; or the Forum. The Forum Members are the decision makers in the system.

The Forum is supported by the Food Regulation Standing Committee or FRSC. FRSC members include government department and agencies heads responsible for food regulation in each jurisdiction.

Making Food Standards

An independent scientific body known as FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) develops and sets food standards which become part of food law in the States and Territories and in New Zealand.

Implementing & enforcing

The Australian State and Territory and New Zealand government agencies implement, monitor and enforce food laws through their own Food Acts and other food related legislation. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources enforces these laws at our borders in relation to imported food.

Authorities in Australia and New Zealand work closely together to ensure food laws are implemented and enforced consistently wherever possible. This is done by the Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation known as ISFR. ISFR members include representative from food regulation authorities in Australia and New Zealand.

Emergency response

The Australian state and territory and New Zealand government agencies are the first point of contact for managing food recalls and incidents.

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