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Classification of food premises making bakery products such as cakes & cup cakes

June 21, 2016

cupcakeDear  EHOs,

Classification of food premises making bakery products such as cakes & cup cakes

The methodology used to develop the food business classification tool is predominately based on the risk of the food handled at the premises.
Generally, potentially hazardous food that is unpackaged, is class 2, and packaged potentially hazardous foods and most low risk food, is class 3.
This methodology, however, excludes class 1 premises and other listed food handling activities defined in the government gazette Classes of Food Premises and Requirements, number S232.

On 6th June 2016 the department responded to correspondence from the President of Environmental Health Professionals Australia (EHPA) concerning the classification of food premises making cakes using eggs as an ingredient.

The department advised EHPA the following:
· Eggs cracked for use (and uncooked) are potentially hazardous food;
· A food premises that handles potentially hazardous foods is
classified as a class 2 premises. Hence the handling of raw eggs, a potentially hazardous food, in a food premises is considered to be a class
2 activity;
· The classification system is based on the handling of the food (the
egg) and not the end product (the cake); and
· While a timeframe to review the food premises classification system
is yet to be finalised; the department will investigate whether a review could proceed during the next 12 months.

Food Premises Classification Review

The food premises classification review, and the regulatory tools that will be applied to a premises within a classification, is likely to incorporate issues such as:
· history of food premises;
· size of business/scale of impact;
· food allergens; and
· method of sale (on-line etc).

As part of the review the department will be seeking input from local government.

Please be assured that the issue of eggs that are baked in foods such as in cakes and cupcakes will be addressed in the review. In the interim councils can advise makers of cakes and cupcakes that they could use pasteurised egg or egg powder instead of raw egg, which would result in a the premises being classified as a class 3 activity (providing the finished product does not contain high risk fillings such as cream).

As always when applying risk assessment methodology to the assessment of a food premises, Council EHOs should take into account the type of ingredients that are being handled, whether the product is cooked, whether the food can support the growth of food poisoning bacteria post cooking (ie water activity, pH etc), whether food poisoning bacteria be introduced through poor food handling post cooking, or are other ingredients added to the product post cooking such as cream, does the final product require temperature control, amongst other issues. The outcome of this assessment will influence what regulatory measures you apply to the premises.
Trial of draft Compliance Assessment Guide and support materials project

As you are aware the department is currently trialing a draft Assessment Guideline which aims to assist EHOs in using a risk management and outcomes approach to food safety assessment. The consultants Jim Smith and Vanessa Healy are working with the following seven trial councils:
City of Melbourne
City of Kingston
Yarra Ranges Council
City of Greater Bendigo
Surf Coast Shire
Mount Alexander Shire and
Moorabool Shire Council

During the trial period participating councils will have the opportunity to influence the composition of the Guide and supporting materials and provide advice on the implementation of the Guide state-wide. I would like to emphasise that the Guideline and supporting materials are draft and are likely to be altered as a result of the Trail so participating councils have been requested not to share the materials at this stage with non-participating councils. The field component of the trial will be completed by early August and the final report and recommendation are due in November 2016.

The department will provide more updates as the project unfolds.

Gary Smith
Manager, Systems & Program Development
Food Safety Unit
Health Protection Branch | Department of Health and Human Services
50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 p. 03 9096 5211| f. 03 9096 1068 |

Dear EHOs

Due to a number of questions from council officers, the Food Safety Unit has provided the following information / clarification regarding ;

(a ) Classification of food premises making bakery products such as cakes and cup cakes, and,

(b) Trial of draft Compliance Assessment Guide and support materials project.


Violette Lazanas
A/ Senior Public Health Officer & Regional Environmental Health Officer Department of Health & Human Services South Division| 165 – 169 Thomas Street, Dandenong t. 03 8765 7521 | m. 0419 102 571 | e. violette.lazanas@dhhs.vic.gov.au