Foodwise (news articles)
02 March 2016
To ensure public health is maintained, a robust process exists to ensure that food and beverage products that have been seized and authorised to be destroyed, do not find their way back into the marketplace – this is known as a seizure burial.
Authorised officers generally have legislative seizure powers to seize food, vehicles, equipment and labelling or advertising materials which they reasonably believe do not comply with a provision of the relevant legislation, or may form part of evidence that an offence has been committed.
At no time are seized items to be destroyed or disposed of without authorisation, or without a witness present for the disposal. In addition, records are kept of how, when and where seized goods are disposed.
The following procedures have been determined as being suitable for ensuring the chain of custody for security burial/disposal of seized product:
- The Authorised Officer arranges to collect the seized goods for secure disposal
- The items collected are checked off against the seizure notice and Seizure Action Summary sheet
- The Authorised Officer and another (witness) is to follow the waste transport vehicle to the waste facility, in order to view and document the dumping procedure
- Upon presentation of the load at the weighbridge, the waste transport vehicle is weighed
- The waste transport vehicle is then directed to the landfill tip face
- The driver tips the load of seized goods in the designated area, a bulldozer is then directed to immediately crush and cover the load rendering it inaccessible
- The Authorised Officer is to remain at the tipping face in his vehicle to observe and document the disposal process being undertaken
- The waste transport vehicle then returns to the weighbridge where the vehicle is again weighed and the net weight is automatically calculated
- A docket is provided by the waste facility, detailing the weight of material disposed
- Any other details as required in the Seizure Action Summary sheet (including copy of the waste facility’s weight docket), is to be obtained by the Authorised Officer in charge.
- The Seizure Action Summary sheet and any attached documentation are then filed with the NSW Food Authority.