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From time to time the NSW Food Authority undertakes targeted surveys of food available in NSW to:

  • ensure it is safe and complies with food standards
  • inform food regulators about what is available.

The surveys may concentrate on one:

  • type of food, such as kebabs
  • aspect of food, such as presence of gluten, or
  • standard, such as labelling.

The surveys are sometimes coordinated with participants from local government, interstate and federal bodies or other NSW departments. They may be part of FSANZ's Bi-National Surveillance and Enforcement Strategy in which food and health agencies in Australia and New Zealand discuss and share information about the food chain.

Details on how the Food Authority plans and executes its surveys are included in the Survey program overview (pdf 136KB).

Surveys available

Survey reports published or authored by the Food Authority include:

Reports are published here as they become available.

Interpreting survey results

Food legislation does not contain microbiological standards for every food.

The Food Authority has developed a guide to criteria used to assess the microbiological quality of ready-to-eat foods in surveys it undertakes. It also indicates follow-up actions the Food Authority may take in response to findings.

The 4 categories of microbiological quality for ready-to-eat foods in the guide are:

  • good
  • acceptable
  • unsatisfactory
  • potentially hazardous.

Interpretations for each category are included in the guide.

Table of contents 
- Purpose and scope
Microbiological testing
- Standard plate count
- Indicator organisms
- Pathogens
Guideline levels for microorganisms
Categories of microbiological quality

Compliance and monitoring strategy

A strategy has been produced for foods produced using gene technology.

Laboratory testing report


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