Below are some consumer topics you may be interested in. A more comprehensive list is available on our fact sheets A-Z page.
Acrylamide and food
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in starchy foods during cooking.
Food additives play an important part in our food supply ensuring that our food is safe and meets the needs of consumers.
Antibiotics and food
Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria can withstand treatment to one or more antibiotics.
Arsenic is a chemical element found in water, air, food and soil as a naturally occurring substance or due to contamination from human activity.
Aspartame is an intense sweetener used to replace sugar in foods and drinks.
AUSNUT 2007 is our most recent survey specific nutrient database developed for estimating nutrient intakes from foods, beverages and dietary supplements consumed as part of the 2007 National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
BPA is a chemical used in the lining of some food and beverage packaging to protect food from contamination and extend shelf life. It’s also used in non-food related products.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
BSE or 'mad cow disease', is a disease of cattle. It is believed that consumption of the BSE agent contaminated food can lead to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans.
Caffeine occurs naturally in foods, such as coffee, tea and cocoa and has a long history of safe use as a mild stimulant.
Dioxins are chemicals produced when household and industrial waste is burned and as by-products from some industrial chemical processes.
Some foods and food ingredients or their components can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.
In Australia, investigation of food complaints is undertaken by state and territory authorities or your local council.
Food Standards Code — a guide for consumers
The Food Standards Code makes sure food in Australia and New Zealand is safe and suitable for us to eat. It includes standards for food additives, food safety, labelling and foods that need pre-approval such as GM foods.
The addition of vitamins and minerals to food is often referred to as fortification.
Adverse reactions to foods occur in a small proportion of the population.
Food irradiation—a food safety, food preservation or quarantine measure used in more than 50 countries—is a process in which food is exposed to a source of ionising energy.
Genetically modified (GM) foods
All genetically modified foods intended for sale in Australia and New Zealand must undergo a safety evaluation by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
All food sold in Australia, including imported foods, must comply with state and territory food legislation and other legislative requirements, e.g. fair trading legislation.
There is a wide range of information on the labels of packaged food that can make it easier for you to make healthier choices about what you and your family eat.
Listeria monocytogenes is a microorganism that may cause an infection called listeriosis if you eat contaminated food.
Mercury in fish
People can safely eat 2–3 serves a week of most types of fish. However, because of the presence of higher levels of mercury in some fish there are a few types you should limit in your diet, especially if you are pregnant.
The term nanotechnology is used to describe engineered matter that is less than 100 nanometres (nm) in size. One nm is one billionth of a metre.
Novel foods are non-traditional foods with no history of safe use.
NUTTAB 2010 updated food composition reference database containing nutrient data for 2668 foods available in Australia and up to 245 nutrients per food and replaces Nuttab2006.
Nutrition, health and related claims
Nutrition health and related claims are voluntary statements made by manufacturers on labels and in advertising about the nutrient content of a food, or a relationship between a food and health.
Pregnancy and healthy eating
If you are expecting a baby you need to plan a healthy diet for both yourself and your developing baby. Ideally, it is best to start before you become pregnant but if you think you might be pregnant already – don’t worry – start following this advice as soon as you can.
Trans fatty acids
Trans fatty acids (TFAs), occur both naturally and in manufactured products.