Policy Guidelines

Page last updated: 20 January 2016

Policy Guideline on the Labelling of Food Produced using New Technologies
Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods
Policy Guideline on the Addition of Substances other than Vitamins and Minerals
Policy Guideline on Country of Origin Labelling of Food
Policy Guideline on Food Safety Management in Australia
Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals
Policy Guideline on Infant Formula Products
Policy Guideline on Intent of Part 2.9 of the Food Standards Code – Special Purpose Foods
Policy Guideline on Novel Foods
Policy Guideline on Nutrition, Health and Related Claims
Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards
Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Residues of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food

Policy Guideline on the Labelling of Food Produced using New Technologies

(Endorsed 27 June 2014)
On 27 June 2014, the Ministerial Council agreed the Policy Guideline on the labelling of foods produced or processed using new technologies. The Policy Guideline provides guidance on the expectations of the Ministerial Council for the case-by-case consideration of both regulatory (i.e. labelling) and non-regulatory measures of foods produced or processed using a new technology.

The scope of the Guideline is limited to foods that require a pre-market safety assessment because they use a new technology. It is recognised that any labelling of products is for consumer information only and is not related to a public health and safety issue.

Policy Guideline on the Labelling of Food Produced using New Technologies (Word 22 KB)
Policy Guideline on the Labelling of Food Produced using New Technologies (PDF 294 KB)

Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods

(Endorsed 27 June 2014)
On 27 June 2014, the Ministerial Council agreed to a new Policy Guideline on the regulatory management of caffeine in the food supply. The Forum has provided the Policy Guideline to Food Standards Australia New Zealand for guidance in the development or review of food standards.

The new Guideline supersedes the 2003 Ministerial Council Policy Guideline.

Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods (Word 23 KB)
Policy Guideline on the Addition of Caffeine to Foods (PDF 146 KB)

Policy Guideline on the Addition of Substances other than Vitamin and Minerals

On 2 May 2008, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed a Policy Guideline that provides guidance on the addition of substances other than vitamins and minerals to food. Ministers agreed that the Policy Guideline should apply to new applications or proposals and should not trigger a review of existing permissions in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

Policy Guidelines on the Addition of Substances other than Vitamins and Minerals (Word 19 KB)
Policy Guidelines on the Addition of Substances other than Vitamins and Minerals (PDF 33 KB)

Policy Guideline on Country of Origin Labelling of Food

On 4 April 2003 the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) agreed to a policy direction on mandatory country of origin labelling of food. Ministers emphasised that this was not a public health and safety issue, as the safety of the food supply is assured through other means. The Ministerial Council's support for country of origin labelling was on the grounds of enabling consumers to make informed choices.

Country of Origin Labelling of Food Policy Guidelines (Word 18 KB)
Country of Origin Labelling of Food Policy Guidelines (PDF 14 KB)

Policy Guideline on Food Safety Management in Australia

On 12 December 2003, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) adopted policy guidelines to improve food safety management in Australia. These guidelines include overarching principles and recommendations on which food business sectors should develop and implement mandatory food safety programs.

It was agreed that the following sectors introduce Food Safety Standard 3.2.1 Food Safety Programs:
  • Food service, in which potentially hazardous food is served to vulnerable populations;
  • Producing, harvesting, processing and distributing raw oysters and other bivalves;
  • Catering operations serving food to the general public; and
  • Producing manufactured and fermented meat.
Food Safety Management in Australia Policy Guidelines (Word 70 KB)
Food Safety Management in Australia Policy Guidelines (PDF 99 KB)

In October 2009, the Ministerial Council agreed that the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) would undertake a review of the guidelines of the 2003 Ministerial Policy Guideline on Food Safety Management in Australia – Food Safety Programs.

On 9 December 2011, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (convening as the Ministerial Council) considered the outcome of this review and agreed to put in place a new Food Safety Management Policy Guideline for the retail/food service sectors.

The new guideline provides a framework for the development of effective, efficient and nationally consistent food safety management arrangements for the retail/food service sectors. The implementation of the 2003 Policy Guideline, as it applies to other food industry sectors, has been completed and remains unchanged.

Revised Food Safety Management in Australia Policy Guideline (Word 40 KB)
Revised Food Safety Management in Australia Policy Guideline (PDF 60 KB)
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Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals

On 28 May 2004, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation (Ministerial Council) endorsed a Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals. The policy covered both mandatory and voluntary fortification of foods.

Ministers agreed that vitamins and minerals may be added to food where there is, for example, demonstrated evidence of a potential health benefit, and it is clear that the fortification of a food will not result in harm.

On 23 October 2009, the Ministerial Council endorsed an amended version of the Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals in order to clarify its intent.

On 20 November 2015 the Ministerial Council agreed to a statement clarifying the original intent of the Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Food with Vitamins and Minerals.

Policy clarification statement to be read with the policy guideline - November, 2015 (Word 13 KB)
Policy clarification statement to be read with the policy guideline - November, 2015 (PDF 104 KB)

Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals (Word 32 KB)
Policy Guideline for the Fortification of Foods with Vitamins and Minerals (PDF 36 KB)

Policy Guideline on Infant Formula Products

In 2009, the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) Working Group on the Regulation of Infant Formula Products published a Policy Options Consultation Paper to inform the development of Policy Guidelines for the Regulation of Infant Formula Products. Submissions from interested parties on the Policy Option Consultation Paper closed on 1 September 2009. A summary of submissions is attached to this page.

Following a review of all the submissions, the FRSC Working Group developed a draft Policy Guideline for consideration by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council)

At their meeting on 6 May 2011 the Ministerial Council endorsed the Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Infant Formula.

Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Infant Formula Products (Word 27 KB)
Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Infant Formula Products (PDF 40 KB)

Summary of Submissions on the Policy Options Consultation Paper (Word 203 KB)
Summary of Submissions on the Policy Options Consultation Paper (PDF 135 KB)

Standard 2.9.1 Infant Formula Products (Word 95 KB)
Standard 2.9.1 Infant Formula Products (PDF 165 KB)

Food Regulation Policy Options Consultation Paper (Word 572 KB)
Food Regulation Policy Options Consultation Paper (PDF 388 KB)

Terms of Reference for Working Group on Infant Formula Products

Revised Timeline for Policy Guideline on Infant Formula Products (Word 15 KB)
Revised Timeline for Policy Guideline on Infant Formula Products (PDF 10 KB)

Policy Guideline on Intent of Part 2.9 of the Food Standards Code – Special purpose foods

In November 2007, the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) tasked the Addition to Food of Substances other than Vitamins and Minerals Working Group (Working Group) with developing a Policy Guideline for the intent of Part 2.9– Special Purpose Foods of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

The Policy Guideline was developed to provide overarching guidance to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and assist them in their review and any future development of food standards in Part 2.9 of the Food Standards Code (the Code). It was not the intention of the Policy Guideline to remove any Standards from the Code but to provide FSANZ with guidance to ensure that Standards relating to Special Purpose Foods were placed appropriately within the Code, and conversely that Part 2.9 Standards do not unintentionally capture foods that are general purpose in nature.

The Policy Options Consultation Paper on the Intent of 2.9 was released for public consultation from 17 January to 2 March 2009. Following review of all the submissions, the FRSC Working Group drafted a Policy Guideline for consideration by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council).

On 23 October 2009, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed the Policy Guideline on the Intent of Part 2.9 of the Food Standards Code - Special Purpose Foods.

Policy Guideline on the intent of Part 2.9 of the Code - Special Purpose Foods (Word 24 KB)
Policy Guideline on the intent of Part 2.9 of the Code - Special Purpose Foods (PDF 23 KB)

Review on the intent of Part 2.9 of the code - Special Purpose Foods (Word 24 KB)
Review on the intent of Part 2.9 of the code - Special Purpose Foods (PDF 23 KB)

Summary of Submissions - Scoping Phase (Word 169 KB)
Summary of Submissions - Scoping Phase (PDF 200 KB)

Terms of Reference for the Working Group on Intent of Part 2.9 of the Code

Revised timelines for Policy Guideline on Intent of Part 2.9 of the Code

Consultation Paper on Food Regulatory Policy Options (Word 67 KB)
Consultation Paper on Food Regulatory Policy Options (PDF 70 KB)

Policy Guideline on Novel Foods

Novel foods are those foods that are non-traditional to Australia and New Zealand, and for which there has been no safety evaluation.

On 12 December 2003, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) asked Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to review the standard and associated user guide.

Novel Foods Policy Guidelines (Word 19 KB)
Novel Foods Policy Guidelines (PDF 14 KB)

Policy Guideline on Nutrition, Health and Related Claims

On 12 December 2003 the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed a nutrition, health and related claims policy guideline. The policy aims to ensure that the health and safety of the public is protected, whilst still allowing for food industry innovation and trade. It does this by incorporating a number of elements designed to ensure that claims made on foods or in advertising are true, scientifically substantiated and not misleading.

On 28 May 2004 Ministers further considered the issue of biomarker maintenance claims. The Ministerial Council determined that claims regarding the maintenance of a biomarker would be permitted on foods. They will be treated in the same way as biomarker enhancement claims. That is, manufacturers will be required to apply to FSANZ for approval of a biomarker maintenance claim, prior to releasing the product to market. This will ensure that claims are appropriately substantiated, and subject to public consultation, prior to their use. The attached policy guideline has been updated to reflect this decision.

Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Policy Guideline (Word 171 KB)
Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Policy Guideline (PDF 60 KB)
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Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards

The reform of the Australian food regulatory system, driven by the November 2000 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Food Regulation Agreement included the transfer of responsibility for the development of primary production standards from the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This was a key component of the new food regulation system in Australia. The attached documents were developed to enable FSANZ to undertake this responsibility.

The Model for Primary Production and Processing Standards and the FSANZ Primary Production and Processing Standards Protocol were endorsed by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) on 24 May 2002. The Overarching Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards was endorsed by the Ministerial Council on 28 June 2002.

At a meeting on 5 May 2006 the Ministerial Council revised the Overarching Policy Guideline for Primary Production and Processing Standards in order to reflect improved operating processes since 2002 and to correct inconsistencies between the guideline and the FSANZ Act.

Overarching Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards (Word 19 KB)
Overarching Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards (PDF 34 KB)

Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Residues of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food

At its meeting on 25 October 2006, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed a Policy Guideline for the Regulation of Residues from Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food.

This Policy Guideline was forwarded to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to form a framework for the consideration of alternative approaches to address the issues surrounding the regulation of residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in food.

Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Residues of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food (Word 19 KB)
Policy Guideline on the Regulation of Residues of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food (PDF 17 KB)

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