Clean bill of health for food safety inspections

Community life - 29 January 2019

Kempsey Shire Council has been praised by the NSW Food Authority for its high standard of inspections of retail food service businesses in 2017-18.

As an enforcement agency for the NSW Food Authority, Council routinely inspects retail food outlets to ensure they comply with food safety standards and regulations under the Food Act 2003 (NSW).

Council’s Environmental Health Officers are responsible for food safety inspections and associated enforcement activities. These can range from awarding 5-star inspection certificates to compliant businesses, to issuing warnings that encourage improvement in the safe food handling process.

In a letter to Council, the NSW Food Authority congratulated local authorised officers for their food surveillance work and outstanding results.

“The NSW Food Authority appreciates your commitment and collaboration to ensure the safety of food produced in the retail food service sector,” the letter said.

Council’s Acting Coordinator Environmental Health, Jack Dickey, said more than 200 inspections of retail food businesses were completed each year.

“We’ve worked hard to improve our compliance with the safety standards under the Food Act 2003 (NSW) in regard to inspections and community interaction,” Jack said.

“We are thrilled with the results and will continue to deliver the highest of food inspection standards for the people of the Macleay Valley.

“Council would like to thank local food businesses for their ongoing commitment to food safety and their cooperation in addressing any issues raised during audit inspections.”

Enforcement agencies are required to report annually to the NSW Food Authority on their food surveillance activities.

The Food Authority then analyses data submitted against 11 key measures to benchmark recommended practices across NSW. No issues of concern were identified with Kempsey Shire Council.

In order to continue the excellent results, Council will be expanding its food inspection program to include food vendors at local markets and community events.

Example inspection certificateThe display of rating certificates shows customers how seriously a retail food business takes food hygiene