All businesses that prepare and serve food will soon be required to comply with several changes to the Food Standards Code.
The NSW Food Authority this week announced that three new safety standards would be introduced from 8 December: the requirement of a food safety supervisor for businesses that process or serve potentially hazardous food, all food handlers to be trained in a safety and hygiene module, and for a record of safety information to be kept.
Businesses will be divided into two categories, with restaurants, takeaway shops, cafes and mobile food vendors, caterers, bakeries, childcare centres and school canteens required to implement all three of the new standards.
Meanwhile, businesses that sell food they have not made, such as delis, supermarkets, service stations and seafood retailers, will be required to train their staff in food safety and keep records to show their food is meeting standards.
Wagga Wagga City Council environmental health coordinator Sharomi Dayanand said: “All businesses that prepare and serve food in Wagga Wagga and surrounds are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new food safety requirements to ensure they are prepared before the changes to the Food Standards Code take effect on 8 December.”
Meccanico Espresso and Wine owner Richard Moffat, who spoke to Wagga Council about the changes on Friday morning, said smaller businesses such as food vans and canteens would feel the regulations more than restaurants would.
“We get audited regularly by the state and local government bodies already and we’ve had a lot of these measures already in place,” he said.
“I believe what the NSW Government is trying to do is bring smaller and mobile vendors like food trucks, which are becoming very popular, into line with the regulations that already exist for restaurants.”
Mr Moffat said he believed it was important that smaller vendors weren’t skipping over regulations when it came to customer safety.
“Speaking on behalf of my own head chef and staff, he’s got over 25 years as a chef and is naturally very experienced in this space,” he said.
”As for our staff, they’re all highly educated and experienced in what they do. Food vendors can be a little bit rogue.
“I think there is definitely a space for them, but bringing in the same standards that restaurants are held to is a positive move.”
To learn more about the new rules, visit the NSW Food Authority here.