World Food Safety Day 2023

Industry News June 7, 2023
World Food Safety Day 2023
NATA team

Food Standards Save Lives  

On Wednesday June 7th we celebrated World Food Safety Day with the theme Food Standards Save Lives.  In Australia, we might be forgiven for taking food safety for granted but unfortunately this is not the case in many parts of the world where 200 diseases can be directly linked to the consumption of contaminated foods; something that is entirely preventable. 

So how do food standards save lives?   

Food Standards play a critical role in food safety and impact all parts of the food chain from primary producer to point of sale. As well as the food item itself, food standards include the production of food, packaging, shelf life and compositional labelling.   

A food standard establishes agreed best practice and compliance or non-compliance with a standard allows a decision to be made regarding the acceptability of the food. 

In Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) develops standards that regulate the use of ingredients, processing aids, colourings, additives, vitamins and minerals.  These requirements are published in the Food Standards Code which also covers the composition of some foods such as dairy, meat and beverages.   

Standards Australia develops standards for chemical and microbiological testing of food in collaboration with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).   

Internationally the CODEX Alimentarius Commission develops standards, guidelines and codes of practice published as the Codex Alimentarius or Food Code in the areas of animal feed, antimicrobial resistance, biotechnology, contaminants, nutrition and labelling and pesticides. 

There are also many other standards writing bodies that develop food standards including AOAC International and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).  Commodity specific standards are also developed by bodies such as the International Dairy Federation (IDF). 

NATA’s accreditation and inspection programs rely on food standards.  Many accredited inspection bodies and testing facilities implement food standards and are assessed for compliance against the requirements of these standards.  Standards series such as ISO 16140 Standards for the validation and verification of microbiology methods have also been developed to assist with method validation and verification. 

The activities of inspection bodies and testing facilities accredited by NATA are in turn relied upon by regulators to ensure food complies with established criteria.  The Imported Food Program of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry monitors food imports for a range of chemical and microbiological parameters using test results from NATA accredited facilities. 

So, it is safe to say we are surrounded by food standards contributing to food safety.