The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC A-NZ) has launched a new set of safety guidelines, which it believes will improve consumer confidence in fresh produce.
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines at Hort Connections in Melbourne on 24 June, Peter Tuohey, chair of Melbourne Market Authority, acknowledged Australian horticulture had seen some damage in recent years through contamination and tampering incidents which have impacted producers, retailers and exporters. However, these new standards will offer world-class protection.
“The guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety 2019 ensure Australian produce has the highest safety standards of any produce anywhere in the world,” said Tuohey.
“However, it is by continuing to evolve and change the standards within these guidelines that will meet our consumer expectations”.
The guidelines were developed through consultation with a range of industry members with experience and expertise in food safety issues, along with the expertise and knowledge of FPSC A-NZ’s technical committee.
“These guidelines set out the procedures and steps to prevent or deal with contaminations and covers a comprehensive list of practices and potential hazards to assist growers, packers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers along the supply chain,” Tuohey said.
“As custodians of the guidelines, the FPSC A-NZ ensures that with each updated version we are enhancing Australia and New Zealand’s fresh produce reputation,” Jessica Purbrick, executive officer of FPSC A-NZ, added at the launch.
FPSC A-NZ technical committee L-R Richard Bennett, Clare Hamilton Bate, Jenny Ekman, Robert Premier and Joe Ekman.