Tag Archives: wellbeing

Break Through the Red Tape

The first rule of food production and service is safety.

It is an issue that is treated seriously and severely in Australia, with recalls, fines and even heavier penalties handed out when the standards are breached.

This can be a lot to take on board for businesses, with governing bodies existing at all three tiers of government.

This article aims to cut through the red tape so you can ensure you are properly protected.

Food safety standards in Australia

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is the governing body for food and beverage safety guidelines in our country.

FSANZ covers food safety programs, practices and general requirements, premises and equipment, and programs for food service to vulnerable persons.

The guidelines for the ‘Food Safety Practices and General Requirements’ and ‘Food Premises and Equipment’ sections are mandatory for all food businesses. These guidelines can all be read in the Safe Food Australia document, which is currently under review.

It is also important to note that charity and community groups, temporary events and home-based businesses are exempt from some of these guidelines, so it’s important for them to check with their local enforcement agency before serving customers.

But while this is the blanket body across the nation, it is important to note that states and territories have their own governing bodies and guidelines as well.

Keep up to date what with the legalities in running a hospitality business

 

How it varies from state to state

ACT

Canberra is subject to the federal FSANZ guidelines.

New South Wales

There are two acts of legislation to consider here, the Food Act 2003 (NSW) and Food Regulation 2015.

The Food Act 2003 (NSW) enforces FSANZ guidelines and then designs, and monitors food safety schemes under the Food Regulation 2015 for the higher risk industries.

Northern Territory

Like the ACT, the NT operates under FSANZ guidelines.

Queensland

Safe Food Queensland manages operational aspects, and it is important to familiarise yourself with the Food Act 2006, the Food Regulation 2006, the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 and the Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2014. Also check with local governments, which may have their own food safety regulations.

South Australia

The Food Safety and Nutrition Branch (FSNB) of South Australia Health is the governing body for guidelines here. It operates under two acts of legislation: the Food Act 2001 (SA) and the Food Regulations 2002, as well as FSANZ. FSNB works in tandem with other government agencies and local governments to ensure maximum safety.

Tasmania

The guidelines on the Apple Isle are perhaps the most stringent in the country, with a clear mandate to not only ensure safety but protect the state’s reputation. A raft of legislation needs to be considered here, including; The Primary Produce Safety Act 2011, Primary Produce Safety (Egg) Regulations 2014, and Primary Produce Safety (Meat and Poultry) Regulations 2014. Guidelines for dairy, seafood, and seed sprouts also need to be recognised.

Victoria

The Food Act 1984 provides the regulatory framework in Victoria. Health Victoria works with Federal and local governments to ensure consistency across the board.

Western Australia

Out west, the State Government boasts that they have the most comprehensive food safety legislation in the country, under the Food Act 2008. It covers 19 different issues for consumers and many, many topics for businesses covered under seven banners. Heavy reading, but as close to watertight as you can get in this country.

Where businesses have fallen afoul of the guidelines

The legislated rules for food safety are more than just guidelines—they carry heavy penalties if not followed.

Brisbane restaurant West End Garden was slugged with a $37,500 fine in August last year for multiple breaches.

Produce is also vulnerable, with 80 cases of salmonella in 2016 linked to the consumption of rockmelons.

There were also fears of a national shortage of garlic bread early this year after a recall of 11 of George Weston Foods products was issued.

In addition to these instances, bread rolls and mango drinks have also been recalled from supermarket shelves in recent years.

FSANZ lists the problems that can cause contamination as microbial contamination, labeling errors, foreign matter, chemical or other contaminants, undeclared allergens, biotoxins and other faults.

It definitely pays to be vigilant about food safety legislation.

About the Author

Josh Alston is a journalist, editor and copywriter who has worked for several daily, community and regional newspapers across the Queensland seaboard for 12 years. In this time he has covered news, sport and community issues and has been published in major daily newspapers and nationally online for breaking news. Josh presently works as a freelance reporter writing for clients including the Victorian Government, AGL Energy and a host of others.

 

Top 5 Foodie Trends for 2017

Dining Concept Hospitality Organic Food Harvest

Today’s food lovers are discerning and spoilt for choice, making it essential for businesses in the food industry to stay on trend.  At Coca-Cola Amatil, we know time is precious, so to make sure your menu offers what customers are looking for, we’ve done the searching for you.  

Millennials are key

If you want to know what’s driving the current trends, you can look squarely at the millennial population.  Their ethnic diversity and connection with wellbeing and global cuisines is having a big impact on food choices.

While tasty food will always be in vogue, trends move quickly and to remain competitive, you need your finger on the pulse….or do we mean dulse?

According to industry experts, these are the key foodie trends to embrace for this year.

Hospitality food trends 2017 restaurants cafes eatery

 

  1.  Sea vegetables

A Forbes article shows that Pinterest found a massive 336 per cent increase last year in searches involving the word “veggies” relating to comfort food.   As people eat less meat, vegetables are being moved to the centre of the plate. While this makes quite a statement in itself, a standout in this vegetable trend is healthy dulse or seaweed.

There are a variety of seaweeds that chefs are incorporating into their dishes.  With a strong umami flavour (recently recognised as the fifth taste), seaweed is being used as a salt substitute for adding flavour to a dish or for snacking.

  1. Hyper-regional food

No longer satisfied with broad traditional cuisines, consumers are looking for that authentic taste of a particular locality. Customers are drawn to dishes that are exceptional and have a story behind them.  Super specific regional foods and dining—such as South American home cooking, Cuban restaurants and Nordic bakeries—are grabbing people’s attention.

Although the variety of dishes seems limited only by the imagination, authenticity is at the heart of this trend.

  1. Ferment it

It’s all about your gut in 2017. No longer confined to the jar at the back of the fridge, fermented vegetables have reasserted their place at the table and are claimed to be beneficial for maintaining good gut flora.

Innova Market Insights has found that consumers are increasingly making choices about what they eat based on what makes them feel good.  Side serves of Kimchi, Kombucha and Yucatan pickles are not only fashionable but will also look after your customer’s stomachs— literally. Good for them, and good for business.

  1.   Snacks

Sitting down for set meal times is no longer the go.  There is a blurring between meal times that means snacking is increasingly popular and practical for busy people on the go.  

Grazing options on your menu give people who want to snack a choice.  Try share plates or bite size meals to eat in or take out.  Empanadas, tacos or kebabs combine snack size portions with real flavour potential, and as a result, are all topping the trend charts in 2017.

  1.  Breakfast revised

Breakfast is also getting an update. International food and restaurant consultants, Baum and Whiteman, report that not only is breakfast turning into brunch, but the very texture of breakfast is changing and has moved away from softer foods such as eggs and oatmeal.  Plates include anything from crispy chorizo to chimichurri.  Even crunchy fried chicken is getting a look in.

A food service industry research firm called Technomic predicts that customers will expect to see more Asian, African and Middle Eastern ingredients and spices incorporated into breakfast menus.  These heartier options not only make breakfast an all-day meal choice, but are being touted as an excellent hangover cure as well.  

Now you know…

Knowing what your customers are hungry for is as simple as keeping on trend.  Whether it’s menu choices or pickles on the side, make sure your customers are aware that you not only know what is trending in food, but that you can serve it as well.

Lana de Kort

Lana de Kort is a published author and business writer with over 20 years experience working with industry, commerce and community. In 2014 she co-founded a network of over 21 writers across Australia.