Many countries put the safety of their citizens as a priority. Hence, they have to come up with legislations that guide handling, storing and transmission of fresh and frozen goods. The Australian government, for instance, provides a series of guidelines that ensures that fresh and frozen products reach the intended consumer without traces of contamination.
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Australia in conjunction with other countries in the region has developed cooperative legislations on food standards outlining the manner in which fresh and frozen products are managed. Member states such as New Zealand and Australian government are responsible for implementing these legislations. Already operational Legislations and standards among others are Microbiological Limits for Food standards, Imported Control Act, Chain of Responsibility, and VITAL.
Overview of Australian Fresh and Frozen Products Standards
Microbiological Limits for Food is a standard that enumerates a limit for acceptable levels of food-related microorganisms. The standard mandates a limit to avoid microorganisms being a threat to human health. The guideline involves mandatory sampling plans for foodstuffs and the strategies for evaluating food products that may be a hazard to people. Additionally, VITAL is a legislation that provides a guideline on storage and distribution of foods, with consideration of risks associated with the cross contact (Morandin & Smith, 2011).
The legislation involves such aspects as segregation of food products, preventing cross-contamination in case of damages. Also, the Chain of Responsibility relates to the consignment, packing, loading or receiving goods. Those legislations place accountability on everyone involved in the supply chain to ensure that breaches do not occur when transporting food products.
Application of Australian Legislation in Fresh and Frozen Products
When dealing with imported goods, the Australian government uses the Imported Control Act of 1992. This law mandates the parties in charge to ensure the requirements of the codes are adhered to. It is done through surveillance of all fresh and frozen goods coming into the region.
The Australian government uses the 3.2.2 standard that outlines Food Safety and General Requirements as a policy to enforce the requirement. Each division of the policy specifies the requirements that ought to be satisfied at every stage, as a requirement of handling fresh, frozen and other forms of goods (Morandin & Smith, 2011). Also, Australia uses The Temperature Control of Potentially Hazardous Foods as a guide. The guideline outlines temperatures required for dealing with fresh products and how this can be met.
When it comes to maintaining the required temperature for frozen goods, the Australian government points out that appropriate measures should be instituted to ensure adequate temperature for a product is met. For instance, businesses or individuals should use partitions to separate frozen and fresh products. Similarly, where possible, vehicles transporting frozen goods should use dual temperatures and divide compartments when carrying an assortment of frozen products.
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The regulation also outlines that vehicles carrying fresh foods should be fitted with compressors and maintain a temperature not less than -22 degrees centigrade. A setting temperature at this minimum helps to protect frozen goods susceptible to temperature sensitivity. The legislation also points out that care should be prioritized when transporting fresh goods to avoid contamination. This can be prevented using separate compartments while foodstuffs are in the transit.
Fresh and frozen products should be marked with an easily and identifiable pack and date code for easier tracking and stock rotation (Morandin & Smith, 2011). The labels should be legible, and if it is a frozen good, the word “frozen” should be displayed on it. Similarly, simple instructions should accompany the label to indicate the temperature at which the product should be stored.
Morandin, N., & Smith, J. (2011). Australian Competition and Consumer Legislation 2011. Melbourne: CCH Australia Limited.