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Monitoring the safety of our food supply

FSANZ and other Australian and New Zealand government agencies continuously monitor the food supply to ensure it is safe, and that foods comply with standards for microbiological contaminants, pesticide residue limits and chemical contamination. FSANZ also monitors nutrients in the Australian food supply, compiling the results in databases available to the public.

Completed ISFR food surveys

One way we monitor the safety of the food supply is through the Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR). ISFR comprises representatives from food regulation agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand. 

We also collect the following food surveillance data, including the results of general compliance testing and targeted surveys conducted in jurisdictions from public health units across Australia and New Zealand. 

View the ISFR Coordinated Food Survey Plan for 1 July 2022 - 30 June 2025 (PDF 180 kb)

Published Survey Lead agency
2023 Survey of Low-THC Hemp Food Products  NSW FA
2019

Coordinated survey of alcohol content and labelling of fermented soft drinks

VIC

2019 Mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour for bread making (PDF 218KB) FSANZ

2016

On-farm food safety practices survey of strawberry growing in Victoria 2016 FSANZ/DEDJTR

FSANZ/DEDJTR

2015

Survey of the trans fatty acid (TFA) content of Australian and New Zealand foods

FSANZ

2014

Combined survey and risk assessment for cyanogenic glycosides 

FSANZ /
NZMPI

2014

National Surveillance Program for Genetically Modified Foods

NSWFA

2013

Survey of inorganic arsenic in seaweed and seaweed-containing products available in Australia

FSANZ

2012

Prevalence of Salmonella and E. coli in ready to eat nuts and nut products sold in Australia

NSWFA

2012

Survey of sulphites in sausages, cordial and dried fruit

FSANZ

2011

23rd Australian Total Diet Study

FSANZ

2011

Survey of iodine in seaweed and seaweed containing products

FSANZ

2010

Baseline survey on the prevalence and concentration of Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken meat on-farm and at primary processing

FSANZ

2010

Survey of beverages enriched with seaweed

FSANZ

2010

National coordinated survey of melamine in food and beverages

FSANZ

2010

Microbiological survey of fresh horticultural produce in Australia 2005-2007

FSANZ

2010

Survey of spices for the presence of pathogens in Australia (pdf 141kb)

Victorian Department of Health

2009

Report on 2009 trans fatty acid survey - analytical results (pdf 163kb)

NSWFA

2008

22nd Australian Total Diet Study

FSANZ

2008

Report on food handling practices and microbiological quality of sushi in Australia

Emerging issues

We monitor potential emerging food safety risks, described as emerging issues, as well as ongoing food safety issues.

View the latest FSANZ Annual Report for emerging and ongoing issues.

Total diet studies

Another way FSANZ monitors Australia’s food supply is through the Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS).

The ATDS, formerly known as the Australian Market Basket Survey (AMBS), looks at consumers’ dietary exposure to a range of pesticide residues, contaminants and other substances found in food. New Zealand undertakes a similar survey known as the New Zealand Total Diet Study

 

Other FSANZ surveys

FSANZ may undertake surveys as part of our work on the Code, for example when we develop food additive standards or in response to emerging issues and national food incidents.

These might be food or consumer behaviour surveys. They are undertaken as required and as resources permit.

 

Risk analysis and assessment

International Food Risk Analysis Journal

FSANZ is the co-editor of the International Food Risk Analysis Journal, targeted towards food safety and nutrition regulators, public health officials, and food industry experts.

An important piece of work published in this journal and authored by past and present FSANZ staff is:

  • Folic Acid, Selected Cancers and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. International Food Risk Analysis Journal.

Risk assessments, safety assessments and associated documents are linked below:

Trans fatty acids

Primary production and processing standards for meat and meat products

Hydrocyanic acid in apricot kernels and other foods

Conjugated linoleic acid triglycerides as a novel food

Hemp

Antibiotic use in New Zealand apples

Studies

Reports

Evaluation report series

The results of a number of evaluation activities conducted by FSANZ as part of the Evaluation Strategy 2001-2003 and Evaluation Strategy 2004-2008 have been published as part of the Evaluation Report Series.

Technical reports

Other Australian government agencies

Other Australian food regulatory agencies undertake regular monitoring activities that may inform FSANZ’s standards setting process.

For example, the Department of Agriculture conducts the National Residue Survey (NRS). In this survey, food for export is tested for residues of agriculture and veterinary chemicals and environmental contaminants.

The Department also administers the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS). The IFIS monitors food imported into Australia to ensure it meets Australian requirements for public health and safety and is compliant with the Code. Read more about the Imported Food Inspection Scheme on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

Occasionally, state and territory governments undertake targeted surveys of food to ensure it is safe and complies with food standards.

Page last updated 24 January 2024