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FSANZ call for comment on primary production and Processing Requirements for high-risk horticulture

by Andrew Thomson on February 8, 2020

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on a proposal to develop a primary production and processing standard for high-risk horticulture.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the proposal is looking specifically at primary production and processing activities in three sectors: leafy vegetables, melons, and berries as there are currently no consistent, national regulatory food safety requirements applied to these.

FSANZ will assess if sprouts and ready-to-eat minimally processed fruits and vegetables, which are currently covered by existing standards in the Code, need further consideration in future work on the review of Chapters 3 and 4.

“The vast majority of horticultural produce in Australia is safe and healthy, however outbreaks linked to particular produce sectors continue to occur.

“At the request of ministers responsible for food regulation, FSANZ is reassessing the need to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to enact a primary production and processing standard to manage food safety for high-risk horticulture.

“This is the first of two public rounds of consultation. This initial round of consultation is seeking information from stakeholders to help us better understand these high-risk sectors and whether a regulatory approach is required – including what that regulation might look like.

“We are also establishing a Standard Development Advisory Group consisting of representatives from industry peak bodies and government regulators to assist with and advise on the current work” Mr Booth said.

The period for comment closes at 6pm (Canberra time) Wednesday 18 March 2020. Read the Call for submissions paper for Proposal 1052