In July 2019, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck and Minister for Health Greg Hunt asked FSANZ to provide advice about current caffeine permissions in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, and to consider preliminary recommendations for strengthening regulations and consumer warnings in relation to caffeine powder and high caffeine content food.
In September 2019 Minister Colbeck released the report and agreed to all recommendations made by FSANZ to enhance consumer safety with regards to caffeine powder and high content caffeine food.
The five recommendations approved by Minister Colbeck include:
- That FSANZ develop and declare as urgent a proposal to amend the Code to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products.
- That FSANZ consider developing a maximum limit of caffeine in food, based on the outcome of the current review of Standard 2.9.4 – Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods. This work could be expedited, or the caffeine component could be separately progressed pending resources.
- That a coordinated inter-agency consumer information campaign on safe caffeine consumption be developed and implemented in conjunction with the implementation of recommendation one, if adopted.
- That, prior to or in parallel with the consumer information campaign, guidance on the regulation of products containing pure or high concentrations of caffeine, and high caffeine content products, be developed by Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR) for, and agreed by, enforcement agencies to inform compliance action.
- That targeted research on caffeine consumption across the Australian and New Zealand population, including consumption by specific vulnerable population groups, continue to be undertaken as part of the upcoming Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study.
Read the report
Pure and Concentrated Caffeine Products – FSANZ review August 2019 Caffeine report(pdf 1,346 kb) | (word 534 kb)
Update: The Department of Agriculture has provided the following details around inspections processes for imported food:
- Food arriving via the mail pathway is out of scope of the Imported Food Inspection Scheme and not referred for assessment and inspection under that scheme.
Prohibition of the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products
In response to recommendation one, FSANZ approved the prohibition of the retail sale of foods in which total caffeine is present in a concentration of 5% or more (if the food is a solid or semi-solid food) or 1% or more (if the food is a liquid food). The prohibition came into force on 12 December. Read more.