Primary Production and Processing (PPP) Standards for the poultry & meat, and possibly the dairy, eggs, grains and horticulture industries, are to be revised by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This follows new seafood regulations.
"The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia are mutually dependent on each other in food matters, they have a mutual need to understand each other's food safety regimes and harmonize them if possible," said Rob Knowles, chairman of FSANZ, speaking during the 8th ASEAN Food Conference hosted in Vietnam last week.
It is thought that any plan to revise laws in different sectors would follow the guidelines of the newly drawn seafood standards; to draw on the best of existing state by state approaches and industry initiatives, aiming to produce national uniformity for the sector.
The new regulations for seafood expected to become law by mid 2004, were proposed in December last year to address gaps in the seafood supply chain where scientific risk assessment shows that current regulatory regimes do not adequately address the risks.
"The standard will be mandatory in all states and territories and will apply to the harvesting, processing, handling and storage of seafood, including aquaculture production. It will also apply to imports," said Greg Roche, FSANZ's general manager for food safety, speaking on the latest PPP seafood reform last month.
The PPP claims that the change will provide nationally consistent food safety regulations that are mandatory and enforceable across Australia. It is also set to apply the new regulations to imported foods with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) ensuring that importers comply.
The new approach aims to control hazards in food by identifying points in the production or processing processes where they may be introduced. Control measures are then to be applied at these points.
The FSANZ will consult further with stakeholders prior to release of the Draft Assessment Report, which should be released for public comment in late 2003.