Domestic food regulatory system

​​​​​​The current domestic food regulatory system has been operating since 1 July 2002. The system aims to:

  • Protect public health and safety.
  • Allow consumers to make informed choices about food.
  • Support a strong and sustainable food industry.
The  Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) (formerly the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation) develops food regulation policy and is advised by a standing committee of officials – the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC).

The Forum’s membership includes:
  • Ministers from the Australian government and New Zealand,
  • health ministers from Australian state and territory governments, and
  • other ministers from related portfolios (primary industries, consumer affairs etc) where nominated by their jurisdictions.
Food standards apply to all foods produced or imported for sale in Australia and New Zealand.

In Australia, food standards cover the whole supply chain – from paddock to plate – for both the food manufacturing industry and primary producers.

Standards take into account Forum policy guidelines and internationally recognised Codex Alimentarius standards.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

FSANZ’s primary role is to develop and amend Australian and New Zealand food standards within the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the code).

FSANZ maintains a listing of Applications and Proposals to amend the code, for which public comment is sought.

After approving or varying standards, FSANZ then notifies the Forum, which can reject, amend or seek a review of the standard.

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is administered by FSANZ and lists requirements for food sold in Australia and New Zealand.

The code is given legal force through Commonwealth, state and territory and New Zealand food legislation and covers:
  • general food standards (including labelling and genetically modified food),
  • specific food product standards, and
  • Australian food safety standards.
The Australian states and territories, and the New Zealand Government, are responsible for enforcing the code.

The department ​enforces the code at the border in relation to imported food through the Imported Food Control Act 1992.