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  • 1 Dec 2023 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    The AIFST welcomed the Inquiry Report from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture into food security in Australia – Australian Food Story: Feeding the Nation and Beyond.

    The inquiry’s remit was to look at strengthening and safeguarding food security in Australia.

    The Committee, chaired by Labour MP Meryl Swanson, made 35 recommendations overall.

    The primary recommendation is the development of a comprehensive National Food Plan providing for the food security, including nutritional security, of the nation and its people. The National Food Plan must have clear objectives and measurable targets set out in regular updates and action plans, and subject to regular review.

    Further to the establishment of a National Food Plan, the Committee recommended the Australian Government appoint a Minister for Food, within the portfolio of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, with responsibility for the development and implementation of the National Food Plan, regular monitoring and updating of the plan, and accountability for achieving outcomes and targets under the plan.

    AIFST had previously provided a submission to the Inquiry in December 2022 and AIFST CEO, Fiona Fleming and Acting Chair Dr Michael Depalo testified at a public hearing in June 2023.

    In December, AIFST CEO, Fiona Fleming, attended a virtual Q & A with the Committee Chair, Meryl Swanson, to gain further insight into next steps.

    AIFST looks forward to the opportunity to support the progression of the recommendations in 2024 and beyond.

    The full Inquiry report is available here:

  • 31 Jul 2023 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Food Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) met on Friday 28 July 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand, to consider food regulation and policy matters. The FMM is chaired by the Hon Ged Kearney MP and comprises all Australian and New Zealand Ministers responsible for food. The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) CEO attended the meeting as an observer.

    Key outcomes from the meeting covered the following topics:

    • Priority 3 System Modernisation update
    • Use of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system on digital platforms
    • Improving the composition of the food supply in relation to industrially-produced trans fats
    • Added Sugars Labelling
    • Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act) Review – Progress Update
    For details, viist the Food Regulation website:

  • 21 Nov 2022 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Federal Government has begun a nationwide survey of antimicrobial resistance in Australia’s food supply to protect Australians against the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

    Antimicrobial resistance is the resistance of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites to antimicrobial or antibiotic medicines. Described as a ‘silent pandemic,’ antimicrobial resistance is one of the World Health Organisations' top 10 global public health threats.

    Common infections can become untreatable, leading to more extended hospital stays and higher death rates.

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand, together with state and territory regulators, has begun sampling retail beef, pork and poultry products as part of a national strategy to minimise the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.

    Media release:

  • 17 Nov 2022 3:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is coordinating a national recall of certain batches of poppy seeds due to the potential presence of the acutely toxic chemical thebaine.

    Poppy varieties rich in thebaine are used for the production of medicines and are grown in Australia to supply the pharmaceutical industry.

    Poppy seeds grown for food consumption have little or no detectable thebaine and are safe to consume.

    Thebaine is a naturally occurring plant alkaloid of the opiate family.

    The presence of thebaine is linked to unsafe poppy seeds entering the supply chain. The cause is being investigated by state and territory food authorities.

    Consumers have reported severe reaction due to the presence of thebaine in high concentrations where poppy seeds have been used to brew “tea” or have otherwise been consumed in high quantities. There have been no reports of illness from the use of modest amounts of poppy seeds in other products.

    Clinical presentation of thebaine poisoning can include tachycardia, hypertension, hypertonia, clonus, unsteady gait, diaphoresis (sweating), limb stiffness or jerking, seizures, metabolic acidosis, acute kidney injury and unconsciousness.

    Thebaine is a known toxin with the signal word “Danger” and GHS Hazard Statements H300 and H301 “Fatal if swallowed”, H310 and 311 “Fatal in contact with skin”, H330 “Fatal if inhaled” and H373 “Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure”.

    Manufacturers are advised not to use affected batches of poppy seeds and return.

    Find out more about the recall here:

  • 1 Mar 2022 11:57 AM | Anonymous

    Reducing the burden of foodborne illness and harnessing the potential of microorganisms are vital issues for everyone involved along the food supply chain. This conference will speak to the challenges, complexity, and opportunities posed by microorganisms in our food supply. In doing so we seek to raise the profile of food microbiology and the importance of ongoing research and development activities in the field.

    The conference will be presented as a hybrid event (face-to-face and virtual), offering a content-rich, day-long program focusing on the Australian food safety landscape.

    The program hosts an excellent selection of speakers addressing topics from the burden of foodborne illness to factors impacting the supply of safe and trusted food. Plus, there will a series of moderated question and answer sessions where you can engage with the speakers.

    Our goal is to deliver a professionally rewarding experience, which will provide a platform to make professional contacts, and takeaways that will elevate your knowledge of current issues in food microbiology.

    The Food microbiology conference will be of interest and relevance to personnel across the entire food industry, as well as food regulators, academics, researchers, and Government officials.

    To register and for further details visit our website HERE

  • 11 Feb 2022 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    AIFST is very pleased to announce the latest book in the Aussie STEM STARS series features Skye Blackburn on eating bugs for the planet.

    At a virtual morning tea event this morning, Skye spoke about her food science journey and how she is inspiring and education the next generation of food scientists. To mark this special day, the publisher, Wild Dingo Press, has a special offer on the full series of STEM STARS books, including the opportunity to pre-order Skye’s book. Visit their website to take up the offer:

    To view the recording of the virtual morning tea click here

    AIFST members can also get free shipping – contact for the code.

  • 13 Aug 2021 6:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    National Science Week is Australia's major national celebration and recognition of the sciences.   

    Celebrating this year’s theme, ‘Food: Different by Design’, the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology (AIFST), along with our partners, are pleased to announce the launch of the Australian Agrifood Science Portal. The AIFST has contributed with key resources focused on ‘What is food science & technology’ and ‘Food Science Teacher Resources’.

    The Portal has been designed to support school agrifood science educators with access to resources, programs, and ideas to inspire and engage students with the wonderful world of agriculture and food science.

    The Portal is a collaborative effort of partners from the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA); AIFST; Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA); Action for Agriculture; University of Southern Queensland; Centre for Excellence in Agricultural Education – Richmond Agricultural College; and OzHarvest.

    A career in food science & technology is guaranteed to be challenging and fulfilling with so many opportunities in different fields of food science, by supporting our science teachers we are hoping to inspire the next generation of food scientists.

    The Australian Agrifood Science Portal is a great example of fulfilling the AIFST mission to advance and inspire all food sector professionals through education, collaboration and recognition to champion a robust, innovative science based Australian food industry to meet future food needs.

  • 3 Apr 2021 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Food fraud occurs when a food supplier intentionally deceive its customer about the quality and contents of the foods they are purchasing. While food fraud is often motivated by profit, some forms of food fraud can also pose a direct threat to the health of customers and consumers. Detecting food fraud is a challenge because consumers alone cannot detect them, and food fraudsters are usually innovative in the ways they avoid detection. In Asia and the Pacific, the risk of food fraud is estimated to be high, due to the high demand for premium quality food combined with an increasingly globalised food supply chain.

    This document describes the key aspects of food fraud, and discusses a set of measures that food safety authorities can take in order to stop the persistent problem of food fraud. Among these, legal interventions combined with the use of technological tools seem to be promising tools in combatting the phenomenon.

    The adoption of a definition of food fraud at the national level could support the identification of targeted actions, and the tools which help the alignment of national legislations and measures with Codex Alimentarius food standards support national food safety authorities in addressing the problem.

    Access the tool kit:

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