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AU/NZ: Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety now available

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre (FPSC) Australia & New Zealand launched their much anticipated Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety at the University of Sydney on 11 August 2015.

The new guidelines provide Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industries with up-to-date information on assessing and managing food safety risks, incorporating the latest in scientific research and industry experience.

The guidelines were developed following consultation with industry, researchers and academics and contain technical advice for growers, packers, wholesalers, retailers, processors, technologists, auditors, trainers and other industry stakeholders with an interest in fresh produce food safety.

Richard Bennett, Technical Manager, Fresh Produce Safety Centre, said ‘These guidelines provide the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industries with information and tools for identifying food safety risks in their business, and best practices for managing those risks. They integrate everything we have learnt about managing fresh produce safety.’

The development of the Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety is an important first project completed for the FPSC in harmonising the approach to managing fresh produce in Australian and New Zealand. The need for new guidelines was identified through wide industry consultation, with the content compiled from the feedback received.

Joseph Ekman, Technical Director, Fresh Produce Group, and chair of the FPSC’s Technical Committee and Editorial Committee member, said, ‘These Guidelines, detail good food safety practices for the whole fresh produce production and distribution chains in Australia and New Zealand, from growing through to receival at retail. They join the dots for our industry,’ he said.

‘We have drawn on the expertise of leading food safety experts and organisations in both Australia and New Zealand. The drafts have been reviewed by a trans-Tasman panel for technical accuracy and appropriateness for a range of users,’ said Joe.

Updated information on hazard analysis, microbial and chemical contamination risks plus additional information on risk assessment, product traceability systems, allergens and managing product test results have been included in the scope of issues covered.

The development of the new guidelines was made possible through the financial support of organisations committed to improving food safety knowledge and resources for the fresh produce industry.  The FPSC praises its Platinum sponsors Woolworths and the NSW Food Authority; Gold sponsor Freshcare; and Silver sponsors N2N Global, Fresh Select and Aus-Qual Pty Ltd for their vision in supporting this valuable new industry resource.

‘The generous support of our sponsors made this important project possible’ said Michael Worthington, Chairman of the FPSC. ‘Their commitment has helped establish the FPSC as a leader in improving the food safety of fresh produce in Australia, New Zealand and beyond,’ he said. Woolworths and the NSW Food Authority are platinum sponsors; Freshcare is a gold sponsor, and Aus-Qual Pty Ltd, N2N Global and FreshSelect are silver sponsors.

The new Guidelines Fresh Produce Food Safety is available for free download from the FPSC website at https://freshproducesafety-anz.com/guidelines/