Advise required for a gourmet sausage boutique in Australia

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Postby Richierich » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:45 pm

Got the following response...

The Food Safety Act 1990 was amended by EU legislation in 2004 by Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, Article 6(2)), with regard to registration of food business establishments:-

'In particular, every food business operator shall notify the appropriate competent authority, in the manner that the latter requires, of each establishment under its control that carries out any of the stages of production, processing and distribution of food, with a view to the registration of each such establishment. Food business operators shall also ensure that the competent authority always has up-to-date information on establishments, including by notifying any significant change in activities and any closure of an existing establishment.'

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/hiojregulation.pdf
The section in the FSA 1990 Guidance quoted as below has been superseded and no longer applies, although still available to view.


"The registration requirement does not apply to certain premises, which are not used for more than a few days or are not used regularly. Registration is required if premises are used for the purpose of a food business for 5 or more days (whether consecutive or not) in any 5 consecutive weeks. This rule also applies to any premises used by two or more food businesses."

FSA Code of Practice (England) and is now taken into account
Further information on the changes can be found at:
http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/enfo ... egislation


They seem quite willing to discuss the implications and the need for registration during an inspection/advice visit.
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Postby wheels » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:00 pm

Interesting, but nowhere does there seem to be a definition of what constitutes a food business - or, at least, I haven't found one yet. I do however believe that churches et al. have to register even when they give the food away free.

Phil
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Postby wheels » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:21 pm

I reckon you may be able to do the limited amount that you want under this part of the regs?

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/ ... lation.pdf

(9) Community rules should not apply either to primary production for private domestic use, or to the domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption. Moreover, they should apply only to undertakings, the concept of which implies a certain continuity of activities and a certain degree of organisation.


It's worth raising it as an issue with the local EHO. However, registration may be the easier long term option.

Phil
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Postby Richierich » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:48 am

They have asked me to submit the paperwork and to arrange a visit, they will discuss the registration during this time, I clearly can't gauge from them what they are likely to suggest, but from a point of view of keeping in with certain parts of the law makers I guess these are worth doing. As long as I don't end up with a scores on the door sticker on the front door! :lol:
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Postby wheels » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:41 am

Pre-empting their visit, it may be worth asking Welsh Wizard for advice on HACCP's etc.

Phil
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Postby Richierich » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:26 pm

I certainly will do that....not sure what the visit is for, whether it is to inspect the "facilities" or to discuss the operation.....might have to give the garage a dust down!

Clean the fridge out, make room on the top shelf for the raw meat, open all windows wide, ensure sufficient room for flying insects to circulate. Swap towels in kitchen for aged ones, the new ones may impart the washing powder flavour to hands and equipment, the more mature ones lose the smell, must be better for the sausage.

Discharge from ears, nose and eyes is a must I understand, dirty finger nails are beneficial but not compulsory.

Have I missed anything? :wink:
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Postby wheels » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:31 pm

I think it's compulsory to feed your dog in the kitchen. Have the cat's litter tray in there as well.

Phil
Last edited by wheels on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Richierich » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:36 pm

wheels wrote:I think it's compulsory to feed your dog in the kitchen. Have the cat's liter tray in there as well.

Phil


I don't have either, I shall have to look at borrowing them for the day.
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Postby wheels » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:41 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Fisherman » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:52 pm

I am an Environmental Health Officer specialising in food safety and have been asked to comment on this thread so here goes:

Regulation EC 178/2002 defines a food business:

“‘food business’ means any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of
the activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food;”

When an operation becomes a food business is a matter of interpretation and opinion. All food businesses are required to register with their local Environmental Health Dept. There is no charge for registration it just requires completion of a simple form – one side of A4.

Giving food to people outside your direct family would not necessarily be a business.......... but it could become one. You start off giving away some food occasionally to friends and then as a one off, someone offers to cover your costs if you make some sausages for them – in my opinion still not a business. Then they ask you to make some for them once a month. I would say that it is now a borderline business but opinions may differ. At the end of the day it is only the Courts who can make an authoritative decision.

Trading Standards are responsible for composition and labelling and Environmental Health for Food Hygiene and Safety.

Most Environmental Health Departments will be happy to help and give advice – and the advice is free! They want to encourage new business. I would not recommend trying to circumvent the rules. It will probably prove more costly in the long run and it would mean that you are getting off on the wrong foot with enforcing authorities. Many people run food businesses from home and, provided you have reasonable facilities, there is unlikely to be any insurmountable problems, particularly if you are producing low risk food. One word of warning, if you are producing food for other businesses, rather than the final consumer, more stringent regulations may apply. Get advice!

Let me know if you want any further info.

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Postby wheels » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:09 pm

Many thanks for that Ian.

Phil
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Postby Richierich » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:03 am

Ian,

Good to have your opinion on this, thank you very much for the input, I agree with your sentiment regarding getting off on the best foot. I am also pleased you mentioned the issue of supplying to other businesses. All I really want to do is be able to offer my circle of friends the option of splitting the cost of sausages, bacon etc. My reason for wanting to be "above board" was that you don't know what they are going to do with it etc.

A chef friend of mine is concerned that I will not be able to satisfy the regulations surrounding the cold chain and critical temperatures for cooking. I would imagine there is a different approach to raw produce and ready to eat produce. You refer to low risk food, is it fair to assume that raw product is a lower risk than ready to eat food, providing of course the end-user ensures the food is correctly cooked.

I plan to send off the forms to the Council this week, and arrange for them to come round, what can be expected from this visit? Or does this vary from Council to Council?

Sorry for the additional questions!
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Postby Fisherman » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:01 pm

Richierich,
Yes, sausages are relatively low risk as they require cooking before eating. Safety depends on them being cooked properly but that is outside your control - no different really from selling a chicken - if its not cooked properly you risk food poisoning.

From a HACCP perspective, assuming that you are adding no preservatives to your sausage, there are unlikely to be any critical points. Failing to maintain the ingredients or the sausages at the correct temperature or abusing shelf life would result in a quality rather than a food safety issue. It is, however an offence to sell ( there is a very wide definintion of "sell" so I'd regard this to include have on your premises) unfit food.

I would expect the officer visiting to discuss your proposals with you and have a look at your kitchen or wherever you intend to make the sausages and to give you advice. They have to make it clear to you what are recommendations and what are legal requirements.

I think that you might be pleasantly surprised by the visit. Good luck.

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Postby Richierich » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:30 am

Ian,

Thanks again for the answers!

Rich
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Postby Snags » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:56 pm

mullsey another good place to start is enter competitions
The Ekka is a good place to start.
(for non Australians its a state wide agricultural show, Kids get a Holiday to go there there is one in every state)

http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2010/ ... ka-awards/
The best sausage in Queensland is a few hours up the road form the Sunshine Coast.
I think Zacs meats might have a shop in Hervey Bay too??

I will try and grab a kilo next time I am in town.
His sales will go through the roof.
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