Council has a responsibility to enforce food safety laws, and may take regulatory enforcement action for breaches. Action is undertaken in accordance with the NSW Food Authority Compliance and Enforcement Policy. This action may be taken as a result of an inspection or from investigating a complaint.
Types of enforcement action
Council’s Environmental Health Officers have a number of informal and regulatory options for dealing with breaches of the food laws including:
Verbal or written warnings
For minor breaches, issued at the discretion of the examining officer.
Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs)
PINs that relate to food hygiene matters are publicly displayed on the NSW Food Authority’s Register of Penalty Notices.
A legal document ordering work to be done by a specific date.
These can force the food business to close, or stop using a specific piece of equipment, until a further inspection is satisfactory and a Certificate of Clearance has been issued. A Prohibition Order may be issued if an Improvement Notice has not been complied with by the date specified, or to prevent or mitigate a serious danger to public health.
The power to seize food and/or unsuitable equipment.
For more serious or ongoing breaches of the Food Act 2003.