Scheme for safe fruit and vegetables

Monday, 25 July, 2005

The Plant Products Scheme only covers five product types: fresh cut fruit (usually consumed raw); fresh cut vegetables (usually consumed raw); vegetables in oil; unpasteurised juice; and seed sprouts. No other fruit or vegetable foods are affected.

The scheme only involves businesses involved in the production, storage and transport of the above product types. Retailers are exempt from the scheme.

The scheme required businesses in the above categories to submit a licence application to the NSW Food Authority by 31 May 2005, and for processors to implement a food safety program to ensure risks relevant to their business are managed.

The Authority has produced support materials to assist businesses implement food safety programs. Staff are available to advise on and support the introduction of programs.

The scheme was developed after a comprehensive risk assessment that included extensive consultation with the industry, which agreed additional food safety controls were needed.

Similar schemes have already been successfully introduced in the dairy, seafood and meat industries.

The Food Authority's Director-General, Mr George Davey, said the scheme aimed to improve safety by introducing food safety programs in an industry where there are potential food safety risks, but previously no requirements existed to manage these risks.

Businesses can contact the Food Authority on 1300 552 406 for further information about the new scheme.

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