If your business operations include packing food, you have a responsibility to ensure that the process, including the packaging material and labelling does not compromise food safety.
Certain foods can cause some people to have an allergic reaction which can vary in severity from mild upsets to severe anaphylactic reaction. It is important that you are able to identify which of your products contain allergens.
You must declare the presence of these foods either on the label (if the food is packaged) or in another way such as on a menu or verbal upon request.
Controls and monitoring
- list any allergens on the label of packaged products
- identify foods containing allergens on menus
- prepare special meals separately from normal meals
- advise staff serving food of special requirements
- check the packaging for damage and use only clean uncontaminated packaging material
- store packaging material in a designated area, away from cleaning chemicals, and other matter that might cause contamination
- check that material being used for packaging are appropriate to the food being packed, for example, some packaging materials may not be appropriate for acidic foods, refrigeration, freezing or microwaving
- make sure that the packaging material being used will not contaminate the food being packed, including physical and chemical contamination
- make sure that the area used for packing is clean and sanitary before starting and during work
- ensure that food packaging machinery is maintained in satisfactory working condition, including the use of appropriate lubricants and make sure these products do not contaminate food
- food handlers need to observe high levels of personal hygiene and ensure they do not directly or indirectly contaminate food during packaging
- unless specifically exempt, packaged food must be labelled in accordance with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
- it is important that labels contain information about the ingredients included in the product you are packing and labelling. Ingredient labelling is particularly important for persons suffering from allergies. Refer to the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code and other information material on food labelling produced by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
Food Allergens, Packaging and Labelling
Understand and comply with health and safety food standards, to ensure the food you are selling is safe for your customers.
Want to know more about food hygiene and food safety?
For a very low investment, why not purchase a copy of:
How to Be Food Safe eBook
and find out if your food is safe for your customers.