Website increases food safety

A new food safety website is set to save millions of dollars and protect millions of Australians from food poisoning. The FoodSmart site developed by the City of Whittlesea, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, takes food business proprietors step by step through the process of preparing a Food Safety Program specially adapted for their business.

It simplifies the process so effectively that Victorian businesses and their local Councils are expected to save more than $10 million each year in staff time, while raising standards of food safety. The FoodSmart site has now been handed over to the Department of Human Services so that other Councils can make use of the technology.

City of Whittlesea Mayor, Councillor Frank Merlino, said the FoodSmart idea began after new Victorian regulations required every food business to prepare a written Food Safety Program.

“The Food Safety Program is a great idea, but many businesses were struggling to understand what they needed to do,” he said. “The FoodSmart site asks them plain English questions about their business, then uses a database of food safety regulations to build up an appropriate Program for them. Food Safety Programs are there to raise the standard of food safety, and FoodSmart is designed to make that improvement much easier to achieve.”

The new site brings potential benefits for every Victorian who walks into a local food shop. A restaurateur or shop owner can log into at any time, to check on food handling regulations. Council’s work on the FoodSmart project has been in partnership with the Department of Human Services, with input from the major food industry associations, peak bodies and the Federal Government.

“The FoodSmart project demonstrates the potential for innovation when Local and State Government work in collaboration with each other,” Councillor Merlino said.

For further information, contact Council’s Organisation Support Executive, Brad Wynter, on (03) 9217 2127.