Food Safety Regulation
Health and well-being are highly valued in today’s society and food is considered to play a major role. Food safety issues are complex and consumers vary greatly in their knowledge of the science of food safety.
Foodborne illness is a major health issue facing Americans. Millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the United States can be traced to contaminated food. The economic devastation of this disease is considerable, with an estimated $420 spent on direct medical costs and $7.3 billion attributed to lost productivity annually. (Source: http://msucares.com/health/food_safety/index.html)
Recent outbreaks of foodborne illness and deaths associated with commercial food establishments have received widespread media and public attention. As a result, consumers have a heightened concern for the safety of commercially prepared foods. Furthermore, commercial foodservice establishments have a heightened awareness of their role in providing safe food to consumers.
Fiji is no exception to the problem that developed countries are facing. With a developing country like Fiji, we are fortunate that we have a gazette Food Safety Act 2003 and Food Safety Regulation 2009. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the health of the public and to protect the consumer against deception and food of unacceptable and poor quality.
The Building Health & Environment Department is highly involved in making sure that food businesses around town adhere to the Food Safety Regulations. With this regard, the Department carried out two Food Safety Workshops in 2010 (including this year) with the main aim to improve the standard of food businesses around town and to minimize the risk of food poisoning by providing simple, easy to follow consumer information on the handling, storage and preparation of food.
Food Safety Workshop
The food safety workshop is part of the Council’s Annual Corporate Plan for this year. The training was for 2 hours and it gave a better understanding to everyone involvement in addressing the Food Safety issue.
The main objectives of this workshop is:
- To strengthen our partnership with the Ministry of Health –Food Unit & Business Food Operators in addressing Food Safety issues within the Nausori Town jurisdiction.
- To create awareness on the Food Safety Act 2003 and Food and Safety Regulation 2009 to all Business Food Operators within the Nausori Town jurisdiction.
The council cannot work in isolation but needs the support of the Competent Authority – Central Board of Health and the Business in addressing the issue. We must work together to ensure that Nausori offers a hygienically and safe environment for consumers and business owners as a whole.
Food Business – Food Safety Regulations
The Food Safety Act 2003 and regulations made under it, makes it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out hygienically.
Food Safety is vital to each and every consumer. It is also vital to every producer, processor, manufacturer and retailer. Consumers anticipate that the food they buy and eat will be what they expect and will do them no harm.
Staff in the Building Health & Environment Department are always willing to give guidance on how the law relates to your business. If you need advice, do not hesitate to contact us on 3477133.