You will be required to comply with the food standards code if you conduct any activity with regards to food. This code has been developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, which has the responsibility for enforcing and policing food standards, along with the States and Territories in Australia. The food standards code is a collection of individual food standards.
Standards on related matters are grouped together into parts, which in turn are collected together into four chapters:
- standards that apply to all foods
- standards affecting particular classes of foods
- food hygiene issues in Australia
- primary food production standards in Australia.
Food standards have the force of law. It is a criminal offence in Australia to supply food that does not comply with relevant food standards. Notwithstanding food standards, it is also an offence to sell food which is damaged, deteriorated or perished, which is adulterated, or which is unfit for human consumption.
Because food standards are given legal effect by State and Territory laws, it is important to read the food standards code in conjunction with relevant local food legislation. However, the agency may exempt a person or persons from complying with specified parts of the food standards code.