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News & Knowledge

Food safety law in Australia will apply to everyone

10th May 2016

All businesses involved with the handling of food intended for sale in South Australia must comply with the Food Safety Standards, MSI's Adelaide member Johnston Withers explains.

The rules apply regardless of whether or not the business is of a commercial, charitable or community nature.

The sale of food includes food:

  • Provided under a contract of services
  • Supplied under a contract inclusive (or operating alongside) of accommodation, other services or entertainment. This would include cinemas, petrol stations, swimming pools, and even local charity or community groups hosting a one-off trade fair or fundraiser

Food Safety in South Australia is governed by three interlocking pieces of legislation; The Food Act (SA) 2001, The Food Regulations (SA) 2002 and Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code. This legislation includes obligations to notify the relevant local council(s) prior to starting food handling operations, as well as ongoing strict health and hygiene responsibilities when handling food.

Local Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect food businesses for compliance with the legislation. The consequences of breaching these standards range in severity and include: warning letters, expiation notices, prohibition orders and prosecution. Fines can be as high as $120,000.00 for a body corporate, or $25,000.00 for an individual. Alternatively, premises can be ordered to be shut down altogether.

You are advised to seek legal advice about your specific circumstances before offering food to the public.

About Johnston Withers - Adelaide

Johnston Withers is a mid-sized South Australian law firm with a social conscience. We have been serving our Adelaide and regional SA clients for over 70 years.

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