Victoria's Regulatory Food Framework
*The MAV represents Victoria's 79 councils on the Victorian Food Regulators Forum but is not a regulator.
Note 1: A Memorandum of Understanding operates between Victorian food regulators. Signatories are Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (from 2015), Dairy Food Safety Victoria, PrimeSafe and the Municipal Association of Victoria.
Note 2: All food businesses that export must be accredited by the Department of Agriculture.
Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (FoFR)
FoFR is primarily responsible for the development of domestic food regulatory policy and the development of policy guidelines for setting domestic food Standards. FoFR also has the capacity to adopt, amend or reject standards and to request that these be reviewed. Membership of FoFR comprises a Minister from New Zealand and the Health Ministers from Australian States and Territories, the Australian Government, as well as other Ministers from related portfolios (Agriculture, Consumer Affairs etc.) where these have been nominated by their jurisdictions. This ensures a whole-of-food-chain approach to food safety regulation. For more information go to the Department of Health website.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
FSANZ is a bi-national Government agency. Its main responsibility is to develop and administer the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which lists requirements for foods such as additives, food safety, labelling and GM foods. In Australia FSANZ prepares Standards across the food supply chain, including Primary Production and Processing Standards and Standards for food hygiene, as well as setting residue limits in food for agricultural and veterinary products. FSANZ develops Standards in consultation with other government agencies and stakeholders. For more information go to foodstandards.gov.au.
Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC)
FRSC is a sub-committee of FoFR. Membership of FRSC comprises senior officials of Departments for which the Ministers represented on FoFR have portfolio responsibility. FRSC coordinates policy advice to FoFR and ensures a nationally consistent approach to the implementation and enforcement of food Standards. It also advises FoFR on the initiation, review and development of FRSC activities. For more information go to the Department of Health website.
Implementation Sub-committee on Food Regulation (ISFR)
ISFR is a sub-committee of FRSC. Its role is to develop and oversee a consistent approach across jurisdictions to implementation and enforcement of food regulations and Standards, regardless of whether food is sourced from domestic producers, export-registered establishments or from imports. ISFR is a mechanism whereby Australian and New Zealand food regulators may discuss common approaches to the implementation of food regulation or food standards and develop tools to assist in achieving consistent implementation. For more information go to the Department of Health website.
Victorian Food Regulators Forum
The Food Regulators Forum comprises of senior representatives of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Dairy Food Safety Victoria, PrimeSafe, the Municipal Association of Victoria and Consumer Affairs Victoria. It promotes ongoing co-ordination and co-operation between regulators.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
DHHS has general oversight of the administration of the Victorian Food Act 1984. The Act provides the regulatory framework for the food industry to ensure that food sold for consumption in Victoria is safe, suitable and correctly labelled. It has a statutory responsibility to provide guidance to councils in order to promote consistent state-wide application of the Act. The department is also responsible for developing policies, guidelines and risk management frameworks for the state, and has a last resort power to direct councils on matters of policy and administration. The department responds to food incidents and emergencies, and coordinates a response when more than one municipality is involved. The department has a range of other functions to ensure the proper operation of the Act, such as approving auditors, analysts and food safety program templates, setting requirements for sampling numbers, and providing guidance to local government and auditors about the Act to promote a consistent approach across the state. For more information go to health.vic.gov.au.
DHHS provides policy advice to the Minister for Health.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
DEDJTR provides policy advice to the Minister for Agriculture. It administers the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 and Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992, and is responsible for on-farm food safety for eggs, seed sprouts and meat under the Food Act. For more information go to economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au
Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV)
DFSV is a statutory authority established under the Dairy Act and reports to the Victorian Minister for Agriculture. It is the independent regulator of Victoria's dairy industry and administers the Dairy Act 2000. DFSV licenses all Victorian dairy premises including dairy farmers, milk carriers, dairy manufacturers and distributors, and approving and ensuring compliance with food safety programs. For more information go to dairysafe.vic.gov.au.
PrimeSafe regulates the safety of meat, poultry and seafood in Victoria under the Meat Industry Act 1993 and the Seafood Safety Act 2003 and reports to the Victorian Minister for Agriculture. Its functions include control and review of Standards for construction and hygiene at meat and seafood processing facilities through a licensing and inspection system and audited quality assurance programs. Facilities licensed by PrimeSafe under the Meat Industry Act include abattoirs, knackeries, processors and retail outlets (other than supermarkets), and under the Seafood Safety Act include seafood producers and harvesters, wholesalers, processors and retailers. PrimeSafe also regulates vehicles transporting meat and seafood. For more information go to primesafe.vic.gov.au.
Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
MAV is the peak representative body for Victoria's municipal Councils. It advocates on behalf of local government and represents Victoria's 79 councils on the Victorian Food Regulators Forum. It works with state and local government agencies so that the Victorian food safety regulations are practical and efficient for councils to implement. For more information go to mav.asn.au.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
CAV protects and promotes the interests of consumers through the Fair Trading Act 1999 and the Australian Consumer Law 2010. For more information go to consumer.vic.gov.au.
Councils regulate all food businesses not licensed by PrimeSafe or DFSV by registering them under the Food Act. Councils also assist the Department of Health with food recalls and food sampling activities, and responding to complaints about food safety relating to local businesses selling food in their municipalities.