FSANZ has been working on a Primary Production and Processing Proposal for horticulture as part of a series of national food safety standards.
PPP Standards (which only apply in Australia) aim to strengthen food safety and traceability throughout the food supply chain from paddock to plate.
Surveys show that the horticulture sector generally does a good job in managing food safety risks associated with fresh produce.
The majority of fresh produce grown in Australia is produced under industry-based food safety schemes. However, food safety hazards can occur and may cause illness.
FSANZ has been exploring if regulatory or additional non-regulatory measures are needed to manage these hazards in conjunction with existing schemes.
What is FSANZ proposing?
After reviewing submissions received on the first call for submissions report and after targeted consultation with stakeholders, the FSANZ Board agreed to abandon the Proposal in favour of non-regulatory measures.
The reasons for abandoning the proposal are:
- there is no uniform support for developing a Standard at this stage
- it was estimated that 70-80% of horticultural produce in Australia is grown under a food safety scheme to control food safety risks
- a deeper understanding of the nature (and type of commodity grown) or number of horticultural businesses that are operating without a food safety scheme should be determined before further regulation is considered.
FSANZ notes that this can be progressed through a collaborative approach involving the horticulture industry and government. Targeted guidance, codes of practice, education materials and training could be developed, as appropriate.
The broader issue of ensuring through-chain traceability for all commodities needs to be addressed. FSANZ plans to commence an examination of traceability requirements for all industry sectors and supply chains in 2014.
Primary Production & Processing Standard for Horticulture (proposal and consultation documents).