Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué 29 June 2018

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) met to consider a range of food regulation matters. The Forum comprises all Australian and New Zealand Ministers responsible for food regulation, and the Australian Local Government Association. The Forum oversees the collaborative joint Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation System. Topics covered included: Reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter & Salmonella; Support public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity; &, Maintaining a strong, robust and agile Food Regulation System.    Source: ANZ foods

Australia's Country of Origin Labelling Rules Come Into Force with Spot Checks for 10,000 Items

Australia’s new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) rules are now fully in force, with regulators set to embark on 10,000 spot checks to ensure adherence.    Source: Lester Wan, Food Navigator-Asia CoOL checks

FSANZ Calls for Comment on Draft Cost Recovery Arrangements

Foods Standards Australia & New Zealand called for comment on a revised approach to cost recovery arrangements. Less than two per cent of FSANZ’s total revenue is generated through cost recovery and only a small number of applications to amend the Code incur costs. The deadline for submissions is 6pm (Canberra time) 2 August 2018.    Source: Call for comment

Consultation on Labelling of Sugars on Packaged Foods and Drinks

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) is investigating labelling approaches for providing information on sugars to consumers. The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) is responsible for coordinating policy advice to the Forum and will facilitate stakeholder consultation on the labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks. FRSC is inviting stakeholders including industry, public health and consumer organisations and other interested parties to make submissions on the Consultation Paper. The Consultation Paper has been prepared to seek information on the labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks.   Source: Sugar consultation

New Food Warning Labels for Protein Shakes After Australian Mum’s Death

Bodybuilding and sports food supplements packaging could carry enhanced warning labels under a proposal being investigated by the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt. The safety measure is being considered after it was revealed supplements, including protein shakes, contributed to the death of 25-year-old Meegan Hefford. Unknown to the mother-of-two, she had a rare genetic disorder that stopped her body from properly breaking down protein. Following global coverage of the tragedy, Mr Hunt last year ordered the national food and medicine watchdogs to investigate the regulation of sports food supplements. He said yesterday Food Standards Australia New Zealand and Therapeutic Goods Administration had advised him “no regulatory” gaps existed. However, still concerned at the risk to consumers, Mr Hunt on Friday instructed the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) to investigate “enhancing the safety of consumers”. He said concerns had been raised about whether products such as the one involved in Ms Hefford’s death were subject to appropriate regulation, including labelling.    Source: Regina Titelius, Protein shake-up

FSANZ Notifications—

Application A1165 – Lysophospholipase from Trichoderma reesei as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): ​The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of lysophospholipase enzyme from Trichoderma reesei as a processing aid for use in starch processing.   Source: Trichoderma enzyme

Application A1166 – Reduction in minimum alcohol for tequila: ​The purpose of this Application is to lower the minimum alcohol percentage by volume from 37% to 35%.   Source:  Tequila!

Application A1167 – Lactase from Bacillus subtilis as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): The purpose of this Application is to permit the use of  lactase enzyme from Bacillus subtilis as a processing aid for use in dairy processing.   Source: Dairy enzyme

Australian (NSW) Food Authority RecallsSource: Current recalls

Loving Earth Coconut Chocolate Butter: Due to the presence of higher than expected levels of tree nuts. The product is labelled ‘MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF NUTS”.

Jimmy Brings Wine: Presence of undeclared allergens (sulphites, milk and eggs).

Mushroom Exchange Sliced White and Brown Mushrooms (various): Potential presence of foreign matter (hard plastic).

Serendipity Vanilla Bean Ice cream: Undeclared allergens (milk and egg).

Frozen Vegetables (various): Possible microbial (Listeria monocytogenes) contamination. (Further reading: Listeria information )

Fresh Fodder Peppered Taramosalata: Presence of undeclared allergens (seafood and soy).

Black & Gold Crumbed Fish Portions: foreign object contamination – (metal).

June 2018 Failing Food Report

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources targets and monitors food determined to pose a high or medium risk to public health. Risk food is targeted at the rate of 100 per cent until a history of food safety compliance is established. When an emerging human health and safety hazard is identified in food, the department may temporarily increase monitoring and testing. This report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme during the month of June. Among the pathogenic organisms detected in these imported foods were, Salmonella and Vibrio cholera, as well as the toxins Aflatoxin, Histamine and Lead, and more.   Source: June food fails

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