Research on Popsicle Production in Australia
Date of Final Report: 22 May 2020
Market Size: $1bn
Number of Businesses: 276
Industry Employment: 3,236
The following are the major players in terms of market share in the Ice Cream Manufacturing industry in Australia:
- Regal Cream Products Pty. Limited:
- Peters Food Group Pty Limited;
- Unilever Australia Group Pty Ltd; and
- Norco Co-operative Limited.
An Ice Cream Manufacturing industry in Australia includes companies manufacturing ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen confectionary.
- Frozen confectionery manufacturing;
- Ice cream manufacturing;
- Gelato manufacturing;
- Frozen water ices or fruit ices manufacturing;
- Sorbet manufacturing; and
- Frozen yoghurt manufacturing.
Application of Food Labelling and Information Requirements
Food Standards in Australia
There is a cooperative arrangement between Australia and New Zealand to develop and implement a uniform food standards governed by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. The act establishes the mechanism for the development of joint food regulatory measures and creates Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) as the agency responsible for the development and maintenance of the joint Australia New Zealand Food Standards. The responsibility of enforcing food standards in Australia rest with authorities in the states and territories and the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service.
Responsibility of Food Manufacturers
The standards contained in the Code are legally binding and food businesses must likewise comply with other relevant legislation including Trade Practices Act 1974, the Imported Food Control Act 1992, and State and Territory Fair Tradings Acts.
Food Labelling and Information Requirements
- In documentation;
- In documentation accompanying the food or in connection with the display of food; and
- In writing upon request.
Weights and Measurements Declarations
The National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 regulates the declaration of the quantity statement on pre-packed food and are administered by the National Measurement Institute.
The sale of popsicles fall within the classification of “food for retail sale” which includes:
- Manufactured or otherwise prepared, distributed, transported, or stored; and
- Not intended for further processing, packaging or labelling.
Definitions Used in Labelling Requirements
A food for sale is taken to bear a label of a specified kind or with specified content if either of the following are part of or attached to the packaging of the food:
- A label of that kind or with that content; or
- Labels that together are of that kind or have that content.
The label of a food being sold means any tag, brand, mark or statement in writing or any representation or design or descriptive matter that:
- Is attached to the food or is a part of or attached to its packaging; or
- Accompanies and is provided to the purchaser with the food; or
- Is displayed in connection with the food when it is sold.
- Labelling means all of the labels for the food; and
- Include specified content is a requirement for at least one of the labels.
When The Food for Sale Must Bear a Label:
- If the food for sale is in the package, it is required to bear a label except when the Popsicle is:
- Made and packaged on the premises from which it is sold;
- Packaged in the presence of the purchaser;
- Delivered package, and ready for consumption, at the express order of the purchaser;
- Sold at a fundraising event;
- Displayed in an assisted service display cabinet.
- If the food for sale has more than 1 layer of packaging then it is required to bear a label and only one label is required in relation to the food for sale; and
- If the food for sale is sold in packaging that includes individual packages for servings that are intended to be used separately, although if said product is not designed for individual sale but it has a surface area of at least 30 square centimeters, it should likewise bear a label.
Australia Only – Country of Origin Requirement
In Australia, the label must state the country of origin information.
Exception to the label requirement
If sold to the public under the following:
- a restaurant;
- a canteen;
- a school;
- a caterer;
- a self-catering institution;
- a prison;
- a hospital;
- a medical institution; and
- is offered for immediate consumption.
Information requirement on food applicable to popsicles:
- Name of the food;
- Lot identification;
- Name and address of the supplier;
- Advisory statements; warning statements and declarations;
- A statement of ingredients;
- Date marking information;
- Storage conditions and directions for use;
- Information relating to nutrition, health and related claims;
- Nutrition information;
- Information about characterising ingredients and characterising components;
- Information relating to irradiated food (Food irradiation is the process of exposing food and food packaging to ionizing radiation such as from gamma rays, x-rays or electron beams);
- If the Popsicle will use juice blend as an ingredient – the name and percentage by volume of each juice in the blend must be indicated;
- Information related to the composition of packaged water;
- If the Popsicle uses electrolyte ingredient, it should likewise be indicated;
- If Popsicle has caffeinated variants, it must have the following information:
- Declaration of average quantities; and
- Any advisory statements.
- Name of food;
- Lot identification; and
- The name and address of the supplier.
Label may be:
- On the package (normally in a form of a sticker);
- If there is more than one layer of packaging – on the outer layer; or
- If the food for sale is in a transportation outer – clearly discernible through the transportation outer.
Prohibition on Altering Labels
- A person who sells food that is packaged must not deface the label on the package unless:
- The relevant authority has given its permission;
- If the relevant authority has imposed any conditions on its permission and those conditions have been complied with.
- A person who sells food that is packaged may re-label the food if the label contains incorrect information, this can be done by placing a new label over the incorrect one in such a way that:
- The new label is not able to be removed; and
- The incorrect information is not visible.
Deface – includes alter, remove, erase, obliterate and obscure.
- The information should be set out on the label in English and must be:
- Legible; and
- Be prominent so as to contrast distinctly with the background of the label.
- If a language other than English is also used on the label, the information in that language should not contradict or negate the information in English.
Legibility Requirements for Warning Statements
A warning statement on the label must be:
- The size must be at least 1.5 mm for small packages;
- Otherwise, the size must be at least 3mm.
The following are the requirements for an ‘Australian Made’ good or product to be classified as such according to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL):
- The goods must have been substantially transformed in Australia;
- Fifty per cent (50 %) or more of the total cost of producing or manufacturing the goods occurred in Australia and conform to the s 256 calculations under ACL;
- Australia was the country of origin for each significant ingredient or component; and
- All, or virtually all of the processes involved with production or manufacturing happened in Australia.
How are the costs of Australian made goods calculated?
In order for representations of an Australian made product not to be considered as false, misleading or deceptive, ss 256 and 257 of the ACL sets out the manufacturing costs which are to be determined for a claim not to attract a breach. The general rule for a person to meet the ‘Australian Made’ claim for a good or product, is that 50% or more of the total costs must be attributable to Australia in which the good or product has been manufactured.
The costs of shipping goods to Australia may also be included as part of the Australian cost component, along with any insurance and port clearance costs.
Differences between ‘Australian made’ and ‘product of Australia’
In order to apply the ‘Product of Australia’ label to products, the enterprise must be able to prove that all significant ingredients or components are sourced from Australia. The threshold is however lower for making a claim of a ‘Made in Australia’ label as it only requires that the overall costs associated with the product amount to 50% or more which can be attributable to Australia.
‘Grown in’, ‘produced in’, ‘made in’ distinction
‘Grown In’ is a claim about where the ingredients come from and is commonly used for fresh food and also used for multi-ingredient products to show where the food was grown and processed.
‘Produced In’ is a claim about where the ingredients come from and where processing has occurred and this claim is often used for processed, as well as fresh foods.
‘Made In’ is a claim about the manufacturing process involved in making the food.
Australian law provides that when a food has not been grown, produced or made in a single country, it will need to display a label identifying the country it was packed in.
Popsicles in Australia is characterized as confectionery which is under Non-priority foods and therefore it must carry a country of origin text statement about where the food was produced, made or packed.
Misleading or incorrect labels
It is illegal for a business to make a claim that goods were grown, produced, made or packed in Australia when it is not the case.
The manufacturing of Popsicles is not one of those high risk food businesses which requires to have a food safety program, which is a written document indicating how a food business will control the food safety hazards associated with food handling activities of the business.
Requirements for food sold as electrolyte drink or electrolyte drink base
A food that is sold as an electrolyte drink or an electrolyte drink base must:
- Be an electrolyte drink or an electrolyte drink base, as appropriate; and
(i) No less than 10 mmol/L of sodium; and
(ii) No less than 50 g/L and no more than 100 g/L in total of the following:
- glucose syrup;
- sucrose; and
(iii) No more than 50 g/L fructose.
The following may be added to an electrolyte drink or an electrolyte drink base:
- calcium phosphates;
- potassium phosphates;
- calcium citrates;
- potassium citrates;
- sodium citrates;
- potassium carbonates, including potassium bicarbonate;
- potassium chloride;
- calcium chloride;
- sodium chloride;
- calcium lactate;
- magnesium lactate; and
- magnesium sulphate.
Labelling of electrolyte drinks and electrolyte drink bases
The following information is required for an electrolyte drink or an electrolyte drink base:
- The average per 100 mL, of:
- the average energy content; and
- the *carbohydrate present, including each type of monosaccharide and disaccharide; and
- added minerals and electrolytes, expressed as milligrams and millimoles;
The recommended volume and frequency of use.
Claims in relation to the tonicity of electrolyte drinks
- A claim that an electrolyte drink is isotonic may only be made if the electrolyte drink has an average osmolality of 250-340 mOsm/L.
- For the labelling provisions, the osmolality of the electrolyte drink must be declared as measured in mOsm/L.
- The label on a package of isotonic electrolyte drink may include words to the effect that the product is designed to promote the availability of energy and to prevent or treat mild dehydration that may occur as a result of sustained strenuous exercise.
Food Safety Practices and General Requirements
Popsicles are categorized to belong to frozen foods and the word frozen does not include partly thawed, this definition clarifies that frozen foods must be kept at a temperature that ensures that food remains completely frozen. If any part of this food has begun to thaw, the food has not been kept frozen.
Popsicles are likewise ready-to-eat food which means that the same is ordinarily consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold and does not include nuts in the shell and whole, raw fruits and vegetables. ‘Ready-to-eat food’ is food that can be eaten without having anything further done to it. There are more stringent requirements for ready-to-eat food because any contamination will not be removed by a processing step before the food is consumed. A very low level of contamination with certain pathogens can result in illness and once food is contaminated with microorganisms it is considered unsafe because it might cause illness even if the pathogens do not actively grow in the food. On a similar note, contamination from chemical aerosols, is unlikely to be removed before ready-to-eat food is eaten and may be unsafe.
This Standard applies to all food businesses and food handlers in Australia
General requirements for food handling in terms of skills and knowledge
- Skills in food safety and food hygiene matters; and
- Knowledge of food safety and food hygiene matters, commensurate with their work activities.
Persons supervising or conducting food handling operations must possess the skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene matters required to handle food safely. Specific mandatory training in food safety and hygiene is not required as it is recognised that skills and knowledge may be gained in different ways. However, it should be noted that mandatory requirements may be required by state or territory legislation as in the case for the requirement for a food safety supervisor.
Definitions of food hygiene and food safety according to Australian Standard:
Food safety — assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use.
Food safety is the outcome while food hygiene is how this is achieved. Therefore, having a skill means that a food handler has the ability to perform those tasks that are necessary to ensure the safety of the food being handled. Knowledge means that a food handler must have an understanding of the issues relating to and the principles surrounding food safety and food hygiene matters.
The proprietor of a food business must notify the appropriate enforcement agency of their contact details, their business’ nature and the location of all their food premises, and inform the agency of any proposed changes to that information. Before the food business commences any food handling operations, it must notify the appropriate enforcement agency of the following information:
- Contact details of the food business including the name of the business and the name and business address of the proprietor;
- The nature of the food business; and
- The location of all food premises of the food business that are within the jurisdiction of the enforcement agency.
This requirement allows the enforcement agency to request information related to the risks of the food business operation, such as the types and volumes of food and the food handling operations that will be undertaken. It may be used to allocate an appropriate priority classification for the business, based on the Food Regulation Standing Committee’s Business Sector Food Safety Risk Priority.
Some food businesses have multiple ‘food premises ‘which includes any place (e.g. homes, vehicles, carts, tents, stalls, boats, pontoons, etc.) used or kept for handling food for sale, whether or not those premises are owned by the proprietor. The proprietor must inform the relevant authority the location of all food premises used by the business within the jurisdiction of the enforcement agency.
Food businesses must take all practicable measures to ensure they only receive food that is safe and suitable, including:
- Only accepting food that is protected from the likelihood of contamination;
- Being able to identify the received food and its supplier; and
- Ensuring potentially hazardous food is under temperature control.
The safety and suitability of food is maintained by storing the same so that it is protected from contamination and is in an appropriate environment.
Food businesses must ensure that only safe and suitable food is processed, and that food remains safe while being processed, by:
- Assessing food before it is processed;
- Protecting food from contamination;
- If necessary, reducing pathogens that may be present in the food to safe levels; and
- Minimising the time that food remains at temperatures that permit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
Practicable measures that can be taken by the food business include:
- Sourcing ingredients from reputable suppliers;
- Specifying to the supplier the quality or safety parameters needed for the raw material or food ingredient;
- Having appropriate procedures in place when food is received;
- Inspecting the food before processing to determine whether it is damaged, has deteriorated or perished;
- If the food is potentially hazardous, determining whether the food has been kept at temperatures that minimise the growth of pathogenic bacteria; and
- Removing contaminants that might be present on the food before use.
Whilst all food should be displayed in a way that keeps it safe and suitable, extra care should be taken with Popsicles because they are classified as ready-to-eat food as it will not be further treated therefore the consumer will not have any opportunity to remove any contamination before it is consumed. When displaying, all practicable measures to protect the Popsicles from likelihood of contamination must be undertaken and while its packaging will generally protect it from contamination, the business should ensure that that the packaging is suitable for use with frozen food. Any food that might be contaminated because packaging is unsuitable or damaged should be removed from display and disposed of.
Food businesses must ensure that the food display is effectively supervised so that any food that is contaminated by a customer or is likely to have been so contaminated is removed from display and without delay.
Food packaging guidelines
- It is packaged in a material that is fit for that purpose; and
- It is not contaminated by the packaging material or during the packaging process.
The following factors may affect whether a packaging material is fit for its intended use:
- The type of food being packaged;
- The period of time that the food will be in contact with the packaging;
- Environmental conditions that the material will encounter especially temperature and humidity:
- Processes the material will encounter during its use with the food like heating, freezing, cleaning and sanitizing; and
- Whether the packaging material contains recycled material.
Substances used to make food packaging
The fact that chemicals in food packaging material can migrate into food is scientifically well established (de Fatima and Hogg 2007, Robertson 2013). So the chemicals used to make food packaging should present no known toxic hazards to the consumer of the food. The manufacturer of the packaging material must minimise the likelihood of chemicals migrating into the food and comply with any specific requirements, including contaminants and natural toxicants, which specifies maximum limits allowed in foods for food packaging chemicals like acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride that are used in the production of plastics in any food.
During transport, food products must be protected from contamination and if it is potentially hazardous food, kept at a temperature that minimises the growth of pathogenic microorganisms with great consideration on the transport time.
All food products that is recalled, returned or suspected being unsafe or unsuitable must be separated and identified from other food products until it is:
- used for purposes other than human consumption;
- returned to its supplier;
- further processed in a way that ensures its safety and suitability; or
- ascertained to be safe and suitable.
Food manufacturers, food importers and wholesale food suppliers must have a recall system that will ensure that unsafe food is promptly removed from distribution and sale. It includes the procedures and arrangements that a food business has in place to remove unsafe food products that it has manufactured, imported or distributed.
A food business engaged in the wholesale supply, manufacture or importation of food must:
- Have a system in place to ensure the recall of unsafe food which should include the following:
- A list of authorities that should be notified of the recall;
- Records of where the product has been distributed;
- Arrangements for advising customers to ensure that food is returned;
- Arrangements for retrieving food that is returned by customers to supermarkets or other outlets;
- Arrangements for assessing how much food has been returned and how much remains in the market place;
- Set out the system in a written document and make the document available to an authorised officer upon request; and
- Comply with the system when recalling unsafe food.
General requirement on food handlers
A food handler must take all reasonable measures not to handle food or surfaces likely to come into contact with food in a way that is likely to compromise the safety and suitability of food. The ‘surfaces likely to come into contact with food’ include eating and drinking utensils, food preparation equipment and food packaging materials.
What ‘reasonable measures’ mean depends on the particular situation and the food handling operations food handlers carry out. The following are the measures that food handlers could take to minimise the likelihood of compromising food safety and suitability:
- Ensuring that food is processed correctly:
- Ensuring that food is kept at the correct temperature;
- Ensuring food is adequately protected from contamination;
- Ensuring eating and drinking utensils and food contact services are correctly cleaned and sanitized;
- Ensuring food contact surfaces are adequately protected from contamination;
- Reporting to a supervisor when a problem is observed like when an equipment is not properly working.
Health of food handlers
A food handler who manifest a symptom indicating he/she may be suffering from a foodborne disease, or he/she is knowledgeable to be suffering from a foodborne disease, or is a carrier of a foodborne disease, must, if at work:
- Report that he/she is or may be suffering from the disease, or knows that he/she is carrying the disease, to his or her supervisor;
- Not to engage in any food handling where there is a reasonable likelihood of food contamination as a result of the disease; and
- If the worker is continuing to engage in other work on the food premises, he/she must take all practicable measures to prevent food from being contaminated as a result of his/her disease.
‘Foodborne diseases’ are those where a food handler is infected with a pathogen that can be transmitted via food, they could transfer these pathogens to food and cause illness in the people who consume it. There are cases where a food handler feels well or are asymptomatic of foodborne disease, yet they could have a pathogen and transmit it via contaminated food.
Common foodborne diseases that can be transmitted by food handlers
Cryptosporidiosis Pathogenic Escherichia coli infection
Entamoeba histolytica infection Rotavirus
Enteric fever (typhoid, para typhoid) Salmonellosis
Giardia infection Shigellosis
Hepatitis A Staphylococcus aureus gastroenteritis
Hepatitis E Yersiniosis
Hygiene of food handlers
When engaging in any food handling operation, a food handler must:
- Take all practicable measures to ensure his or her body, and anything he or she is wearing does not contaminate food or surfaces that might likely to come into contact with food;
- Take all practicable measures to prevent unnecessary contact with ready-to-eat food;
- Ensure that his/her outer clothing is of a level of cleanliness that is appropriate for the handling of food that is being conducted;
- The food handler must only use on exposed parts of his or her body bandages and dressings that are completely covered with a waterproofed covering;
- Ensure not to eat over unprotected food or surfaces likely to come into contact with food;
- Ensure not to sneeze, blow or cough over unprotected food or surfaces likely to come into contact with food;
- Ensure not to spit, smoke or use tobacco or similar preparations in areas where food is handled; and
- Ensure not to urinate or defecate except in a toilet.
A food handler must wash his or her hands at all times:
- Whenever his or her hands are likely to be a source of contamination of food;
- Immediately before working with ready-to-eat food after handling raw food; and
- Immediately after using the toilet.
Requirements for food businesses
Food business must record staff illness and conditions containing the following information:
- The name of the person afflicted by the illness or condition;
- The date when the illness or condition was reported;
- The details of the illness or condition, including how long the person has been suffering from the illness or condition, and the details of his/her symptoms;
- The action taken in response to the reported illness or condition like sending home a person reported to have diarrhea;
- The name of the person who determined the action taken whether the supervisor or manager.
A food business must ensure the following persons are prohibited from engaging in handling food where there is a reasonable likelihood of food contamination:
- One who is known to be suffering from a foodborne disease, or who is a carrier of a foodborne disease; and
- A person known or reasonably suspected to have a symptom that may indicate that he/she is suffering from a foodborne disease.
A food business must ensure that a person who is known or reasonably suspected to be suffering from a condition and who continues to engage in the handling of food for the food business takes all practicable measures to prevent food contamination. It may permit a person excluded from handling food to return to food handling only after receiving advice from a medical practitioner that the person no longer is suffering from, or is a carrier of, a foodborne disease.
Hygiene of food handlers — duties of food businesses
Every food business must observe for each food premises the following:
- Maintain easily accessible hand washing facilities;
- Maintain, at or near each hand washing facility, a supply of:
(i) Warm running water; and
(ii) Soap; or
(iii) Other items that may be used to thoroughly clean hands;
- Ensure hand washing facilities are only used for the washing of hands, arms and face; and
- Provide, at or near each hand washing facility:
(i) Single use towels or other means of effectively drying hands that are not likely to transfer pathogenic microorganisms to the hands; and
(ii) A container for used towels, if needed.
General duties of food businesses
A food business must inform all its food handlers of their health and hygiene obligations and must take all practicable measures to ensure all people on the food premises do the same.
‘Practicable measures’ presupposes that businesses cannot completely control people on their premises, but they can take steps in minimising risks in food safety and suitability. By ‘all people’, it includes food handlers, tradespeople, visitors and members of the public not to:
- Contaminate food;
- Have unnecessary contact with ready-to-eat food; and
- Spit, smoke, or use tobacco or similar preparations in areas where there is unprotected food or surfaces likely to come into contact with food.
Food manufacturers must put in place the following practicable measures to be taken in areas where there is exposed food and food contact surfaces:
- Placing signs to alert people that smoking is not permitted;
- Not providing ash trays;
- Alerting persons found to be smoking or spitting that these activities are not permitted and asking them to stop;
- Asking the person to leave the premises if they continue to smoke or spit;
- Calling security staff or police for assistance if the person continues to smoke or spit and refuses to leave.
Cleaning, sanitising and maintenance of all food businesses premises
Every food business must maintain its food premises to a standard of cleanliness where there is no accumulation of:
- Garbage, except in garbage containers;
- Recycled matter, except in containers;
- Food waste;
- Grease; or
- Other visible matter.
A food business must maintain all fixtures, fittings and equipment, having regard to its use, and those parts of vehicles that are used to transport food, and other items provided by the business to purchasers to transport food, to a standard of cleanliness where there is no accumulation of:
- Food waste;
- Grease; or
- Other visible matter.
Cleaning and sanitising of specific equipment
Cleaning and sanitising are different processes, which are both needed to reduce the risks of foodborne illnesses. Cleaning involves the removal of dirt, grease and food debris whilst sanitising is a process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms and it should be done after cleaning. Even if the equipment looks clean it could still be contaminated if it has not been sanitised.
Food businesses must ensure that the staff assigned in cleaning and sanitising tasks have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform said tasks correctly. For instance, an equipment which is to be chemically sanitised, the staff in-charged must know how to prepare and use an appropriate food-grade chemical sanitiser to ensure that the equipment has been sanitized according to Australian standard.
Food businesses must ensure the following equipment is in a clean and sanitary condition and in the circumstances set out below:
- Eating and drinking utensils must be immediately sanitized before each use; and
- Food contact surfaces of equipment must be sanitized whenever food that will come into contact with the surface is likely to be contaminated.
A classic example of the danger of improperly sanitized utensils happened in smoothies made with contaminated stick blenders which caused an outbreak of foodborne illness which occurred in an aged care facility. Investigations found that all the people who fell ill had eaten breakfast smoothies which had been prepared using a stick mixer (hand-held blender). When the mixer was tested for pathogenic microorganisms it was found to be contaminated.
Further investigations found that the mixer stick had not been properly cleaned and sanitised between uses, so pathogens had multiplied in food debris and then been transferred to the next batch of smoothie. The food business was advised to change its cleaning and sanitising procedure to make sure the stick mixer is thoroughly treated; for example by dismantling the components, brushing them with warm soapy water and then spraying with an appropriate sanitiser, ensuring all areas of the shaft where food debris could lodge (including high up the shaft) are treated. The business was also advised to regularly maintain the mixer, including checking the mixer’s seals and replacing any that show signs of deterioration. Smoothie preparation is akin to Popsicle preparation which involves rigorous mixing, therefore this possible contamination must be avoided.
A food business must maintain food premises and all fixtures, fittings and equipment, having regard to their use, and those parts of vehicles that are used to transport food, and other items provided by the business to purchasers to transport food, in a good state of repair and working order having regard to their use. It must not use any chipped, broken or cracked eating or drinking utensils for handling food.
Temperature measuring devices
Every food business must, at food premises where potentially hazardous food is handled, have a temperature measuring device that:
- Is readily accessible; and
- Can accurately measure the temperature of potentially hazardous food to +/– 1°C.
The temperature of frozen food can be measured by placing the length of a thermometer probe between two frozen packages of the food, or using an infra-red thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the food or package.
Recording food temperatures
Temperature requirements in this standard must be indicated in:
- Food receipt;
- Food storage;
- Food processing step;
- Food display; and
- Food transport.
Single use items
Every food business must ensure that single use items used in production:
- Do not contaminate food;
- Do not allow the transmission of infectious diseases; and
- Are not reused.
Animals and pests
The food premises of food businesses are to be kept free from animals and pests with the exception of assistance animals and, in certain circumstances, pet dogs. It must not permit live animals in areas in which food is handled, take all practicable measures to prevent pests entering the food premises; and take all practicable measures to eradicate and prevent the harbourage of pests on the food premises and those parts of vehicles that are used to transport food.
Practicable measures every food business can take to eradicate pests on food premises and in parts of vehicles used for food transport include:
- Implementation of a pest control plan with regular pest inspections and treatments:
- Hiring a professional pest controller which while not a legal requirement will be necessary if pests cannot be adequately controlled by the food business;
- Using chemicals or physical means to kill or remove pests from the food premises.
Special conditions where to mix Popsicle mixture for production
The Australian Food Standards website does not provide specific production and processing standards for Popsicle or confectionery products. There are only stringent production standards to food items which has the following contents:
- Dairy production;
- Dairy collection and transport;
- Dairy processing; and
- Raw milk cheese.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) likewise do not provide specific production and processing standards for Popsicle or confectionery products but only on the following products:
- Poultry meat;
- Meat and meat products;
- Eggs and egg products; and
- Seed sprouts.
Things needed in order to sell
It is a requirement in order to operate a Popsicle business to apply for a trademark through IP (Intellectual Property) Australia which can be done online through www.ipaustralia.gov.au, there will be no need to apply for a patent as this is not a new invention.
Trade mark basics
The trade mark is a way of identifying a unique product or service which is a form of protection for the brand and sets it apart from other products or from those belonging to competition. It is not merely a ‘logo’ as it can be a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, picture, movement, aspect of packaging, or a combination of all these.
A registered trade mark provides the owner with exclusive rights to use, license and sell the mark and it is likewise a valuable marketing tool as its value increases with the success of the business. A trade mark may be a company logo, a jingle use in an advertisement, your business name painted on the side of your truck or your signage or packaging. A common misconception is that a trade mark is the same thing as a business name, company name or domain name.
Intellectual property rights for a design are different to a trade mark as the former needs to be unique or new to be registered whilst a trade mark does not. Once registered, you must actively use your trade mark in the course of your trade for if you don’t, it can be removed on the grounds of non-use. This practice is used to prevent traders from registering multiple trade mark simply to stop other traders from using them.
Benefits of trade marks
A trade mark can be the business’ most valuable marketing tool as it is its identity in which it can show its customers what the business is all about. Thus, the more successful the business is, the more valuable the trade mark becomes. It can be used to promote goods and services without registering it. In fact, the business can even add a TM (for trade mark) to its product labels. This is not illegal however such trade mark have no registered, intellectual property (IP) protection. Only a registered trade mark can carry the ® symbol. Once the trade mark is registered, placing the ® symbol immediately next to the brand puts others on notice to respect said trade mark.
Whilst there are no penalties for using the TM symbol, however it is an offence to use the ® symbol if the trade mark is not registered. IP Australia do not monitor infringements of the ® symbol and if a business have concerns, it can contact the Australian Federal Police, Customs Border Patrol or an IP legal specialist and perhaps take action to prevent further use.
Using another person’s trade mark whether it is registered or not is against the law and the practice is known as ‘passing off’ and is a violation under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Unregistered trade marks in some circumstances can have value under common law and other state based fair trading legislation. This is especially true for one who has been using an unregistered trade mark over a long period of time, as such, they can prohibit a business from using the same name, logo or trade mark whether it has been registered it or not.
Timeframe for getting a trade mark registered
Once an application has been submitted, it will go through a stockpile to be examined depending on its nature. After the application is ready for acceptance, it will be accepted and advertised for opposition purposes and the waiting time for a trade mark to be registered is at least 7 months.
Trade mark cost
There are two ways of registering a trade mark, one is online through www.ipaustralia.gov.au and the other is via Business to Business (B2B) for approved businesses with high volume transactions. If the business is unable to submit the request for registration online, there are alternative ways to pay such as: post, electronic funds transfer or in person, although such methods may have a higher fee structure.
The cost of trade mark application may vary from the number of classes a business would want to register. The business can either lodge the application using an IP professional or use the ‘TM Headstart service’ or ‘Standard filing service’ which are both accessible through www.ipaustralia.gov.au website with cost ranging between $200.00 – $500.00. Before going down the track of applying for a trade mark it would be a good idea to make sure the business owner is eligible.
Business’ owner eligibility requirement
The business owner must be:
- An individual; or
- A company; or
- An incorporated association.
A trade mark can also be owned by:
- An unincorporated association (for a collective trade mark only); or
- A body existing under legislation (for example a registered charity).
The trade mark applicant must:
- Have an address for service in either Australia or New Zealand. Usually the address for service is that of the applicant itself or that of an intellectual property attorney or solicitor who is acting as the applicant’s agent:
- Can’t be a business name or trading name;
- Should be the owner(s) of the business registration;
- Should be the corporation’s name (if owned by the corporation) and not in the name of directors or shareholders; and
- Should be in the name(s) of trustee(s) rather than the trust name.
The applicant must use, or intend to use, the trade mark in relation to the goods and/or services included in the application. If the trade mark is to be used by a corporate entity that is about to be formed, the trade mark you can be assigned to the new body once it has been formed.
Trade mark registration
Once your trade mark application meets all the requirements, iy will then be advertised in the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks for a period of two months wherein third parties may oppose the registration. If there is no opposition, the trade mark will be registered and the applicant will be notified in writing. The trade mark application status will likewise be updated to ‘registered’ in both Australian Trade Mark Search and the Australian Official Journal of Trade Marks.
The following are needed in the operation of a food processing business:
- Certificate of registration of a registrable plant – Queensland
This is only required if the Popsicle plant will use Boilers or Pressure Vessels and the licence can be processed through Queensland – Office of Industrial Relations.
- Commercial vehicle registration (Moreton Bay)- Queensland
This permit is needed if the business wish to use its vehicle for commercial purposes within the council like for example, delivery drivers and couriers. This permit will enable you to stand in regulated traffic areas while conducting business. The administering agency is the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
- Design registration of registrable plant design – Queensland
This is only required if the Popsicle plant will be using pressure equipment such as boilers, pressure vessels and pressure piping. The administering agencies are: Office of Industrial Relations; and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
- Development permit – Queensland
The Planning Act 2016 is the basis of Queensland’s planning and development assessment legislation which regulates the development in order to:
- Manage the process by which development occurs;
- Manage the effect of development on the environment including use of premises; and
- Ensure the coordination and integration of planning at the local, regional and state levels.
Application process will depend as to which government is the Assessment Manager:
- Where a local government is the Assessment Manager, application for this approval can be done by completing and submitting the relevant application(s) to the Chief Executive Officer at the council address for the area in which the development will take place.
- Where the Queensland Government is the Assessment Manager, the best method of lodgement is via the MyDAS online preparation and lodgement system.
- National Busines Name Registration – Australian Government
This registration is needed when one intends, or currently, carry on a business in Australia and your business name must be on the Business Names Register.
To register for a new business name, an Australian Business Number (ABN) is needed, or if your is a pending application for an ABN, a statement to that effect and the reference number for the ABN application must be indicated.
The following information must likewise be provided:
- Details of the ABN and specifics of the proposed business name holder;
- The proposed business name;
- The preferred registration period, whether 1 or 3 years; and
- The address of the principal place of business and the service of documents in prescribed form and lodged in the prescribed manner.
Fees: 1 year registration $36.00; 3 years registration $85.00
Administering agency: Australian Securities and Investments Commission Registry
- Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act of 1986 – Queensland
This requirement is only applicable if you intend to likewise import your produced Popsicles. This is merely a regulatory obligation and the office to contact for help for more information is the Queensland Government Service Centre, Fair Trading Policy Branch, Office of Fair Trading, Department of Justice and Attorney-General located at, Upper Plaza Terrace, 33 Charlotte Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4000 with phone number 07 3405 0985.
- Trade waste approval (for liquid waste discharged to a sewer) – Queensland
This is a requirement if the business will discharge any liquid waste to a sewer, then a trade waste approval from council is needed. A trade waste approval from council will specify council’s conditions for discharging trade waste into the sewerage system. The purpose of the approval is to manage the potentially adverse effects of waste, which can cause blockages or corrosion, undermining the sewerage treatment process or be harmful to the people. Trade waste approval is required for businesses engaged in food and beverage preparation. The licencing agency is Unitywater with address at Ground Floor, 8-10 Maud Street, MAROOCHYDORE QLD 4558 and the phone number is 1300 086 489.
- Training Contract (Apprenticeship and Trainees) – Queensland
In order to train and employ a person in an apprenticeship or traineeship, a training contract is needed. All trainees and apprentices in Queensland are registered with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training and they are under probation for an initial period of their employment and training, during which time either party may terminate the apprenticeship or traineeship contract for any reason within the applicable notice period.
Employers are to lodge the training contract within 28 days after the day of the apprenticeship or traineeship. The administering agency is the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Queensland Apprenticeship and Traineeship Office which can be reached at phone number 180 210 210.
- Compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Queensland
The objective is to prevent a person’s death, injury or illness being caused by a workplace, a relevant workplace area, work activities, or plant or substances for use at a workplace. This is only a regulatory obligation and the administering agency is the Office of Industrial Relations, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Safety and Compensation Policy
- Compliance with Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 – Queensland
It establishes a workers’ compensation scheme for Queensland providing: benefits for workers who sustain injury in their employment, for dependents if a worker’s injury results in the workers death, for persons other than workers, and for other benefits; and encouraging improved health and safety performance by employers.
The scheme is intended to maintain a balance between providing fair and appropriate benefits for injured workers and ensuring reasonable premium levels for employers. Queensland employers are required to insure their workers against workplace accidents. A WorkCover Queensland accident insurance policy covers injured workers for their lost wages and medical expenses following a workplace injury. This is a regulatory obligation and is administered by WorkCover Queensland.
- Workplace Fire Safety Training Delivered by Queensland Fire and Emergency Service – Queensland
This is a support service provided to industry on a fee for service basis which depends on the service required. The administering agency is Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Training and Emergency Management
- Average Quantity System – Australian Government
You may be required to comply with the average quantity system since you intend to operate a business that sells goods by measurement or that will manufacture, pack, import or sell pre-packaged goods that have a constant nominal content. The administering agency is the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, National Measurement Institute located at Bradfield Rd, West Lindfield, New South Wales 2070 with phone number 1300 686 664.
- Employer Requirements – Superannuation Guarantee
Every employer has the obligation to pay superannuation on behalf of all eligible employees, in addition to their wages and salaries. This compulsory superannuation requires the employer to:
- Pay superannuation for all employees;
- Contribute to their preferred super funds if available; and
- Pay the contributions by the quarterly cut off dates: 28 October, 28 January, 28 April and 28 July.
This is a regulatory regulation and an obligation defined in law with the following eligibility requirements:
- The employee must be aged between 18 and 75;
- The employee is paid at least $450.00 in a calendar month; and
- Work full-time or on a casual basis and this includes family members and company directors.
Employees who are visiting Australia on an eligible temporary resident visa are also qualified, failure to comply with this obligation will result to the employer being penalised. The administering agency is the Australian Taxation Office People, Systems and Services Group Business Reporting and Regulations.
- Fair Work Information Statement – Australian Government
All employers covered by the national workplace system have an obligation to give new hires a Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after he/she commence employment.
The following basic information pertaining to national standards for employment must be included:
- The National Employment Standards (NES);
- The effect on an employee’s NES entitlements when there is a transfer of business;
- Modern awards;
- Agreement making under the Act;
- Individual flexibility arrangements;
- The right to freedom of association;
- Termination of employment;
- Right of entry including the protection of personal information by privacy laws; and
- The role of related Government Agencies.
The administering agency is the Fair Work Ombudsman.
- High risk work (HRW) licences – Queensland
This is only required if your Popsicle plant will be operating boilers or other pressure equipment for production. A separate license is required for each class of work.
In order to apply for this license, you must:
- Complete the relevant training program with a registered training organisation (RTO);
- Obtain an assessment summary from an accredited assessor through the RTO once training is complete; and
- Submit your application for a high risk work licence online within 60 days of completing your practical assessment.
The administering agency is Office of Industrial Relations, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
- National Employment Standards – Australian Government
There are ten minimum National Employment Standards (NES) that every employer must comply with regards to employment entitlements for employees covered by the national workplace relations system. They are: maximum weekly hours of work, requests for flexible working arrangements, parental leave and related entitlements, annual leave, personal / carers leave and compassionate leave, community service leave, long service leave, public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay, and provision of a Fair Work Information Statement. The administering agency is the Fair Work Ombudsman.
- Tax File Number Privacy Rule – Australian Government
This has to be complied since the employer collect individual’s tax file number (TFN) information to ensure accurate employees’ tax payment with the Australian Tax Office. The collection, storage, use, disclosure, security and disposal of individual’s TFN is regulated to ensure privacy of TFN information. The administering agency is Attorney-General’s Department Office of the Australian Information Commissioner with operating address at Level 3, 175 Pitt Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000 and the contact number is 02 9284 9749.
- Registration as an Australian Company – Australian Government
This registration is required for every business in order to operate in Australia. It is only when an Australian public or proprietary company is registered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that it comes into existence. An applicant may reserve a proposed company name prior to registration and said application is optional.
- Small Business Fair Dismissal Code – Australian Government
This is required of an employer operating a small business or one which has fewer than 15 employees which is calculated on a simple headcount of all employees who are employed on a regular and systematic basis. This code provides for the protection against unfair dismissal claims and the Fair Work Commission will deem a dismissal to be fair if the employer follows the code and can provide evidence thereof.
- Food premises and equipment requirements for the state of Queensland
All food business, whether operating from a new or existing premises, a vehicle, market stall or domestic premises, must comply with Food Safety Standard. Owners / proprietors must provide a food premises that:
- Is easy to clean, sanitize and maintain;
- Is appropriate for the work of the business;
- Is suitable for the jobs they are used for;
- Is made of material that does not contaminate food;
- Has sufficient space, facilities and suitable equipment to produce safe food;
- Provides service such as potable water, effective sewage disposal and sufficient light and ventilation for the food handling activities;
- Provides facilities for staff to maintain standards of personal hygiene and equipment cleanliness that will protect food from contamination; and
- Is protected against harbourage and entry of pests.
Everything you need to know about starting a food business
Once you make the decision of starting a food business in Australia, there are several steps you are required to follow before you can be legally in operation. These are designed to protect the consumer from foodborne illness and also to ensure that you are following the appropriate food procedures.
- 1. Food Business Licensing – For a food processing business to be operational, the first step that has to be undertaken is to obtain a roper business licence with your local council. Different rules and regulations are to be followed depending on where the business will be based, this is likewise true as to the licencing requirements. The rule of thumb is, if your company will handle food intended for sale to the customers, then you are required to notify the proper authority.
- Food Business Classification – Each state and territory in Australia has a different classification for food businesses. In order to get the proper licence, you will need to find out your food business classification applicable in your state or territory. This information will be required by your local governing body. In Queensland, the manufacture of Popsicle is classified under Food Processing Business.
- Basic Training – Once a business employ its staff, it needs to ensure that they undergo proper training for the workplace which should cover basic training including food safety and food handling. This is a legal requirement in Australia that all employees handling food must be trained for safety.
Every employer has the following options:
- Online nationally accredited training courses;
- Classroom-based nationally accredited training courses;
- Use of manuals to instruct staff; or
- In-house training facilitated by a consultant.
- Food Safety Supervisors – Queensland is one of the many states in Australia where it is mandatory to have a Food Safety Supervisor nominated on staff. The said supervisor must have the proper training and certificates and must be registered before he/she can work in this position. One of the current employee can be trained to become a Food Safety Supervisor or you can hire an outside contractor depending on your preference.
The Food Safety Supervisor must attend training delivered online or in a classroom setting through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and such training should be specific to the industry and state or territory. The intended Popsicle business is classified under the food industry sector of ‘food processing’.
The following are to be considered in the selection of the business’ Food Safety Supervisor:
- He/she must have the proper training and certification;
- He/she must understand his/her obligations to the business;
- He/she should be willing and able to supervise the employees on food and personal hygiene; and
- He/she should be prepared to handle any noncompliance or negligence issues that may arise.
A food business cannot be operational without a Food Safety Supervisor on your staff. Whilst the food business is only required to have one Food Safety Supervisor, however if you are open for long hours, it may be wise to have more than one in order for you to meet the requirement of having a Food Safety Supervisor contactable at all times.
The Food Safety Supervisor will ensure that all food safety codes will be followed in the day-to-day business operation and must address problems and work to properly train the rest of the employees in charge of food handling. Otherwise stated, this task has to be given to someone who you can absolutely trust. Not all food safety responsibility falls to your Food Safety Supervisor as the rest of the staff likewise need to be well-trained in food safety, a nationally recognized Food Handler course for all staff will meet this requirement.
Food safety requirement
Every food business is required by law with all food safety regulations and this can affect the style in which you build your business as well as how food is handled in your business operation. The Food Standard code is provided by the FSANZ as provided earlier in this research, but you also need to develop the business’ own Food Safety Program based on Hazzard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles which needs to be regularly updated and must always be kept in the premises of the food business. This is essential as the Food Safety Program of a business can be audited at any time and should there be a finding that you are not complying with all food laws and regulations, the business can be fined or even to a greater extent face a severe punishment.
How to comply with food safety laws:
- Train your Food Safety Supervisor;
- Apply for your business licence;
- Train your Food Handlers; and
- Be food audit ready.
Food handlers are not just those employees working in the kitchen, this is often the misconception, but can be someone who:
- Serves food to customers;
- Moves food into storage;
- Delivers food; and
- Cleans equipment and utensils.
Food Safety Supervisor course
After successfully completing the Food Safety Supervisor course for the food processing sector, the following units will be awarded:
- FBPFSY1001 Follow work procedures to maintain food safety; and
- FBPFSY2001 Implement the food safety program and procedures.
Food Handler course
The Food Handler training is not industry specific and after completion, one will be awarded the following unit: SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety.
Queensland food safety legislation
Every business owner or manager must ensure compliance to the following:
- Federal government food safety laws;
- Queensland government food safety laws; and
- Local council legislation.
Non-compliance will result to being fined, prosecuted, or even having the business closed down.
Queensland state laws and requirements
The food safety requirements in Queensland are set by the Food Act 2006 (QLD) which requires that food sold in the state of Queensland is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets every single standard set out in the Food Standards Code. It is worth noting that Food Safety is a joint responsibility of Queensland Health and the local government.
Regulating and monitoring food safety in Queensland
It is Queensland Health that is responsible in regulating and monitoring food safety across the entire food industry of the state which includes:
- Food business licensing;
- Conducting food business inspections in partnership with the local council; and
- Specifying food safety training requirements.
Food Safety Supervisor training
- The licensee;
- The proprietor; or
- An employee.
It is recommended by QLD Health that there be more than one Food Safety Supervisor for a business, who must have completed specific nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training which can be delivered by the Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS).
Local council requirements
Food business registration falls within the responsibility of local councils including monitoring compliance, providing education and advice as well as taking the necessary enforcement action when needed. It must be noted that both state and federal requirements are enforced at a local level, through the Health Inspectors employed by the corresponding local councils.
Health Inspectors play a very important role in monitoring food safety and they are authorised to:
- Enter a food business property at any time;
- Enter without permission;
- Request evidence that the correct food safety training has been performed;
- Go into any area of a food business;
- Take samples;
- Issue infringement notices or fines; and
- Close the business immediately should it is deemed to be a serious public health risk.
The Food Safety Practices and General Requirements Standard provides that ‘ A food business must ensure that all persons undertaking or supervising food handling operations have the necessary skills in food safety and food hygiene matters.’
Possible scenarios that could happen if there is no compliance of Queensland Food Handling requirements:
- Suspension or cancellation of the business licence;
- Prohibition or seizure orders;
- Significant fines;
- Added to a Name & Shame list; and
- Brand & reputation damage.
Hypermarkets and supermarkets are the leading channels of distribution in the Australian Ice Cream market which is dominated by Unilever Plc as the leading market player. Flexible packaging is the most commonly used packaging material in the Australian Ice Cream market. Popsicle products are akin to Single Serve ice cream that are normally available through distribution channels such as Hypermarkets & Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, Food and Drinks Specialists and On-trade channels. Packaging materials include Flexible Packaging, Paper & Board and Rigid Plastics
Popular Popsicle Brands in Australia
- Pure Pops – Across New South Wales
- Liana Raine – Sydney
- Delish Ice – Western Australia
- Frozen Sunshine – Queensland
- Pop Shop Sydney – Around Sydney
- Mountain Pops – Yarra Valley
- Flyin’ Fox – NSW, QLD, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Alice Springs
- The Pop Co – Melbourne
- Paleta – Melbourne
- Pops – Melbourne
- Paloma Pops – NSW
Moreton Bay Regional Council Requirements
Since the premises will be used commercially, you will need to obtain a Final Certificate for all Commercial Building Approvals in order to obtain a Certificate of Classification which needs to be displayed on the premises. The Certificate of Classification can be obtained from a Private Building Certifier registered at Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).
You likewise need to have a plumbing application “Commercial, industrial or multi-unit development – General plumbing application”, and obtain an industrial compliance inspection which is an external inspection of buildings and structures on the property.
The structural requirements for a food business are listed in the Food Safety Standard detailed in AS4674 Design, construction and fill-out food premises. Kindly see attached file ‘Design Fit-Out Guide for Food Businesses which will assist you in ensuring compliance with the mentioned Standards.
There may be other issues or requirements for a new food premises that are not assessed by Council which include trade waste, plumbing, and building works. it is therefore recommended to do the following steps:
- Contact Unity Water to discuss any structural and ongoing requirements regarding grease traps, water meters, trade waste permit costs and the like since these issues are not considered by the food license application. Unity Water can be contacted at 1300 086 489;
- Any plumbing work must be done by a licenced plumber; and
- Any changes to the building may trigger an application with a Building Certifier.
There are town planning requirements for a home-based business to ensure that there are no adverse impacts on neighbouring properties. Here is an example of the planning requirement for the urban neighbourhood precinct under the General residential zone code:
|Home based business (35)|
|RAD29||Home based business(s)(35) are fully enclosed within the existing dwelling or on-site structure.|
|RAD30||A maximum of 1 employee (not a resident) OR 2 customers OR customers from within 1 Small rigid vehicle (SRV) or smaller are permitted on the site at any one time.|
|RAD31||Service and delivery vehicles do not exceed one Small rigid vehicle (SRV) at any one time.|
|RAD32||Vehicle parking for the Home based business(35) on-site is limited to 1 car or Small rigid vehicle (SRV).|
|RAD33||Home based business(s)(35) occupy an area of the existing dwelling or on-site structure not greater than 40m2 gross floor area.|
|RAD34||Home based business(s)(35) do not involve manufacturing.
|RAD35||The amenity of the area and adjacent sensitive land uses are protected from the impacts of dust, odour, noise, light, chemicals and other environmental nuisances.|
|RAD36||The hours of operation do not exceed 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Saturday and are not open to the public on Sunday’s, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.
|RAD37||For a bed and breakfast, the use:
a. is fully contained within the existing dwelling on-site;
b. occupies a maximum of 2 bedrooms;
c. includes the provision of a minimum of one (1) meal per day.
Additionally, Food Standards Australia for food safety advice regarding COVID-19 are as follows:
- There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food;
- Maintaining good hygiene practice is recommended;
- Anyone with suspected symptoms of respiratory illness should avoid preparing food for other people; and
- Businesses need to follow any social distancing requirements requested by the Australian and New Zealand Government.
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