Standards updates

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is continually revised and updated. These changes are brought about as a result of policy directives, industry developments, global trends in food regulation and emerging food safety issues.

This section provides regular updates on proposals and applications to amend the Code.

Under the Primary Production and Processing Standard for Dairy Products (Standard 4.2.4) dairy manufacturing premises are now able to produce and sell some cheeses made from unpasteurised milk.

The Standard establishes food safety requirements for milk producers, transporters, and manufacturers of raw milk cheese. This requires the development of enhanced food safety programs and more stringent regulatory oversight of producers, transporters, and manufacturers. More... 

From 18 January 2016 all nutrition and health-related claims on packaging and promotional material must comply with Standard 1.2.7 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Read more....

Getting your claims right - A guide to complying with the Nutrition, Health and Health Related Claims Standard of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is available to download.

FSANZ continues to review the microbiological limits (Standard 1.6.1) in the Food Standards Code.

The review is addressing current scientific evidence and the development of preventative measures along the food supply chain, including food safety standards and primary production and processing standards.

Work has been completed on microbiological limits for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, with criteria based on whether L. monocytogenes can grow in RTE food. More... and on microbiological criteria for powdered infant formula products. More....

FSANZ is continuing its work with regulators and industry to look at microbiological criteria for other commodities including dairy foods, meat products, and low moisture foods. The differentiation of food safety criteria from process hygiene criteria is a major development with the latter incorporated into the Compendium of Microbiological Criteria for Food.

In December 2014, FSANZ completed a proposal to revise the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to improve legal efficacy and for related purposes. The variations took effect on 1 March 2016.

The revision has resulted in some significant changes to the layout and arrangement of material in the Food Standards Code.

 

Microbiological criteria for powdered infant formula (PIF) have been revised to align with the Codex standards, and now only list food safety criteria (see Standard 1.6.1 and Schedule 27). These changes were gazetted on 19 May 2016.

In summary, the changes:

  • eliminate limits for coliforms, coagulase-positive staphylococci, Bacillus cereus, and standard plate count
  • establish limits for two categories: PIF and powdered follow-on formula
  • increase the sampling plan for Salmonella from n=10 to n=60 samples
  • include limits for Cronobacter sakazakii in PIF (n=30, c=0, m=not detected in 10 grams).

At the same time, process hygiene criteria have also been developed for Enterobacteriacea and mesophilic aerobic bacteria in PIF and are described in the Compendium of Microbiological Criteria for Food. These limits are used to monitor and verify the food safety program.

These changes reflect contemporary approaches to using microbiological limits – differentiating between food safety and process hygiene.  

The following applications or proposals are currently being assessed by FSANZ for variation of a food regulatory measure.

M1014 – Maximum Residue LimitsTo consider varying certain maximum residue limits for residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals that may occur in food. 
P1028 – Infant FormulaTo revise and clarify standards relating to infant formula comprising categories definitions, composition and labelling.
P1034 – Chemical Migration from Packaging into FoodTo assess the public health and safety risk of chemicals which may migrate from packaging materials into food, and to identify and manage any risks.