The main objectives of the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 are:
a. to establish Safe Food Production Queensland (known as Safe Food);
b. to ensure the production of primary produce is carried out in a way that
- makes the primary produce fit for human or animal consumption, and
- maintains food quality; and
c. to provide for food safety measures for the production of primary produce consistent with other State laws relating to food safety.
The Act establishes Safe Food Production Queensland (known as Safe Food). The functions of Safe Food are as follows:
a. to regulate, under food safety schemes, the production of primary produce to ensure primary produce is safe for human and animal consumption;
b. to advise, or make recommendations to, the Minister about:
- food safety matters relating to the production of primary produce
- the development or implementation of food safety schemes;
c. to monitor the hygiene and operating procedures of premises, vehicles, plant and equipment used for production of primary produce;
d. to encourage businesses engaged in the production of primary produce:
- to minimise food safety risks by developing and maintaining food safety programs, and
- to develop and adopt quality assurance measures for the primary produce;
e. to approve or audit quality assurance mentioned above;
f. to approve food safety programs;
g. to grant accreditations;
h. to approve and train individuals to conduct audits to monitor compliance with food safety schemes;
i. to review audits mentioned above; and
j. to commission research relating to food safety matters for primary produce.
The Act provides for a system of accreditation whereby an accreditation authorises the Holder of Accreditation to produce primary produce:
a. stated in the accreditation, and
b. on the conditions stated in the accreditation and under this Act.
The accreditation does not authorise the holder of the accreditation to do anything prohibited under another Act.
An application for an accreditation must be:
a. in the approved form; and
b. accompanied by the following:
- the prescribed fee
- a description of the activities carried out, or proposed to be carried out, by the applicant in connection with the production of primary produce
- a description of the premises, vehicle, plant or equipment used, or proposed to be used, by the applicant for the activities mentioned above
- if the applicant is required under a food safety scheme to prepare and maintain a food safety program for the activities, a copy of the food safety program.
The Act also prescribes offences, penalties and appeal rights.
On commencement of Section 166A (1) of the Act, Safe Food stands in the place of the former Queensland Livestock and Meat Authority for all purposes of this Act.
A reference in this Act, another Act or document, to the authority must, if the context permits, be taken to be a reference to Safe Food.
Authorised officers have powers to monitor and enforce compliance with the Act.
These include entry, inspection and investigation of premises and vehicles and the powers to prohibit the use of equipment, to seize things for inspection purposes, to condemn product and order disposal of it.
An accreditation may be suspended or cancelled for non compliance with its conditions or for offences against the Act, which may also incur substantial fines.
An appellant may appeal to QCAT for a review of the decisions made in relation to the person:
a. a person whose application for accreditation, or renewal of an accreditation, under Part 5 of the Act has been granted subject to a condition or refused;
b. a person whose accreditation is amended, suspended or cancelled under Section 53(4);
c. a person whose application for approval, or renewal of an approval, as an auditor under Part 6 has been granted subject to a condition or refused; and
d. a person whose approval as an auditor is amended, suspended or cancelled under Section 68(4).