Important food safety message.
Begin forwarded message:
From: “Dr. David Scarfe”
Date: 13 January 2015 02:26:19 AWST
Subject: AquaVetMed: Stiff Fines for Violating Australia’s Seafood Safety Requirements
January 12, 2015
Fine Tripled for Food Safety Breach
An importer who sold 1500 kg of cooked prawns imported to Australia from Vietnam without undertaking mandatory food safety tests has had the fine nearly tripled on appeal. After an initial prosecution and fine of $7000 and given the seriousness of the offence, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution pursued the matter, launching a successful appeal that has resulted in a revised fine of $20,000 for the importer.
In March 2014, Mr Xu Chun Dong, company director for B&E Packaging pleaded guilty to a breach of the Imported Food Control Act 1992. The prawns imported from Vietnam were subject to the Imported Food inspection Scheme to ensure compliance with Australian Food Standards. Australian requirements mean the prawns had to be tested for food safety risks including bacteria that can cause food poisoning such as staphylococcus, salmonella, and cholera.
The Department of Agriculture’s First Assistant Secretary for Compliance, Raelene Vivian, said the revised fine of $20,000 sent a clear message about the seriousness of the offence. “This appeal shows that the department takes its role in managing compliance of imported food with Australia’s standards seriously and will use the full force of the law to achieve a just result,” said Ms Vivian. “Reckless and deliberate disregard of Australia’s food safety and importing requirements will not be tolerated and can attract fines of $330,000 for a corporation.”
The department helps protect Australia’s food producers by managing the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country. It also inspects imported food to check it meets Australian requirements for public health and safety. The requirements exist to protect the Australian community from potential food poisoning hazards.
For more information about importing food to Australia go to http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/import/food, and Imported Food inspection Scheme visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/import/food/inspection-scheme.
Source: Australia Biosecurity Bulletin – Edition 5, 2014 (http://tinyurl.com/pg4s6sf).
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