Food safety is YOUR responsibility
BY KATE MATTHEWS
If your business involves food, then its likely that you are already familiar with the many regulations regarding food safety, including preparation, labeling, storage and sale.
Maybe you are thinking about starting a new business? Or perhaps you have been running your business for many years. Regardless, it’s important to keep up to date with current food regulations.
Mobile food vendors need to comply with state as well as local council regulations, and in addition you may also be obliged to comply with specific requirements established by the individual market.
There could be severe penalties for not complying with food safety regulations, and improper handling, storage or preparation of some foods can be disastrous. Labeling and allergies are also important things to consider.
To help you get started, or to refresh your memory, we have gathered information from a range of sources and we encourage you to spend some time investigating current food standards and regulations (see below).
Where can I find more information?
Make yourself a hot cuppa or cool drink, because there’s a fair bit of reading involved. But this stuff IS important if you’re in the business of food.
To see what’s generally required for markets and temporary events, the Food Authority of NSW provides a number of guidelines.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand is another great reference point. They have developed food standard user guides, and the complete guide to safe food. We would also encourage you to stay in touch via their Facebook page.
As there are several councils areas covered by the various markets of the north coast from Tweed to Coffs, we suggest you check with individual market organisers and councils for their requirements.
For example, Clarence Valley Council has a link to a guide to food handling for temporary events, developed by the NSW Food Authority. Clarence Valley Council’s Food Vendor Application Form can be found here.
Safe food handling is your responsibility. Make sure you do your research and avoid problems down the track.
And finally, a few words on general SAFETY.
While on site, all stall holders and their staff must comply with all Council regulations, OHS and individual market rules. Anything at or around your stall must be securely anchored. All fabric decoration must be flame retardant. All stalls are required to have a dated working fire extinguisher and fire blanket.
Any use of gas canisters must be included within your application and be fitted by an approved gas fitter only and must be firmly anchored to the ground within your stalls parameters.
Market vendors occasionally suffer from power issues many of which relates to faulty leads and power-boards. It is the stallholders responsibility to provide your own lights, leads and power boards fitted with circuit breakers, approved by a registered electrician, tagged and dated. The equipment must be water-resistant and maintained above ground at all times. All equipment must be in safe working order and all leads must be tested and tagged by the supplier or owner.
The information above is intended as a general guide only. Please take the time to independently investigate food safety rules and regulations with reliable and appropriate authorities.
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