Mosman Council's food safety program
Mosman Council has around 150 food shop businesses operating within the council area which are inspected annually by Council’s Environmental Health Officers who are authorised to undertake inspection of food premises. For powers of an authorised officer refer to Section 37 of the Food Act 2003. The frequency of inspections depends on the food business’s consistantly demonstrating their ability to comply with Food Safety Standards. Council’s Environment Health Officers also follow up on complaints regarding either the quality of food, contamination of food, or unclean food premises.
Council works in partnership with the NSW Food Authority in regulating the food industry. Following recent changes to the NSW Food Act 2003, (effective 1 July 2008), Council will be required, as a Category ‘B’ enforcement agency, to register and inspect all food premises that prepare and sell or serve food directly to consumers or produce food for direct sale to consumers as their main food – related activity, including school canteens and childcare centres that provide food to children.
Food premises are categorised as high, medium and low according to the health risk associated with food storage and preparation. High and medium risk category premises are inspected twice a year and low risk once a year. Premises are assessed for compliance with the current NSW Food Standards Code that require businesses to be regulated for cleanliness, construction and fitout, temperature control, food handling practices and personal hygiene of staff.
Council is working with local food businesses to ensure a high standard of food safety and risk minimisation in food handling. This approach involves not only strict compliance with laws but also provision of advice and information to business owners and operators. Information and advice on food handling and hygeine can be obtained from Council’s Environment Health Officers on 9978 4000.