ACCC and food reporting

Thursday 19 March 2015:

A duplicate consumer product safety reporting requirement is being removed because it is unnecessary and ineffective when applied to food.

The removal of the requirement for this information to be reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the position of Commonwealth and State food safety, public health and consumer affairs agencies and Ministers.

Removing this unnecessary reporting requirement in no way detracts from our shared commitment to ensuring the safety of food.

Instead, businesses can focus resources on training and working with the purpose-built food safety regime and regulators rather than be distracted by unnecessary paperwork and compliance requirements that add nothing to food safety.

Australia has a first class food safety regime backed by specific purpose Commonwealth, State and Territory laws and administered by dedicated expert agencies. This regime implements clear and effective protocols, systems and procedures.

The parallel and one-size fits all product safety reporting requirements that currently also catch food and that we are removing, have produced nearly 10,000 notifications since their introduction in 2011 with about half of these reports involving food and referred to food regulators.

Of those referred, only two have involved follow up. This follow up revealed one had already involved separate enforcement action by food regulators under the robust food safety regime and the other was concerning an allergic reaction to a ‘hot and spicy’ fast food product and was not a food safety matter.

The ACCC and State/Territory consumer affairs agencies will continue to be key partners in the activation of food recall actions where food safety and public health regulators determine that this is necessary.