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Food Standards Agency Calls For Comment On Horticulture Paper

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Food Standards Agency Calls For Comment On Horticulture Paper

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released a consultation paper on what approaches should be taken to ensure food safety in fresh horticultural produce.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCutcheon, said Australians had access to a large variety of high quality, safe fresh produce.

"Surveys conducted by FSANZ over many years have demonstrated that the Australian horticulture sector does a good job in managing the food safety risks associated with fresh produce," Mr McCutcheon said.

"However, from time to time, microbiological or chemical hazards can arise and these can present a risk to the consumer.

"The horticulture industries in Australia have been quick to implement measures through audited industry schemes or other systems that address food safety. What we don't know is whether these measures are sufficient to provide a nationally consistent approach to food safety across the entire sector."

Mr McCutcheon said FSANZ was now working with industry to establish whether current measures are adequate to ensure the safety of fresh produce or whether new national requirements need to be developed.

"FSANZ's key responsibility is the protection of public health and safety and we do this using the best available scientific evidence while promoting consistency between domestic and international food standards.

"We intend to consult widely as this work progresses and we acknowledge that there are a large number of growers, packers, wholesalers and industry bodies as well as other non-industry stakeholders that will wish to contribute. We will be working to establish communication links with all those involved in the sector."

Written submissions on the paper must be lodged with FSANZ by 6pm (Canberra time) 11 July 2011.

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