Food standards

Food Standards Australia New Zealand develops the individual standards in the Food Standards Code. The food ministers in Australia and New Zealand must consider and agree to new standards or variations before they can become law.

What are food standards

The food standards – the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – are mandatory requirements that cover issues such as:

  • food safety and handling
  • food labelling and advertising
  • food composition, including contaminants, residues and additives.

The standards must be followed by law when adopted by the food acts in Australia and New Zealand.

Find out more about the Food Standards Code.

Who develops food standards

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) develops food standards. It accepts applications to change the standards and prepares change proposals. Find out about upcoming standards work in the FSANZ Work Plan.

See the process to change the Food Standards Code.

Role of the food ministers

When FSANZ has finalised and approved a draft standard, it notifies the Food Ministers’ Meeting. The ministers can either:

  • request a review of the draft standard
  • agree that the standard should become law.

They can request a review if most jurisdictions consider that one or more of the following applies to the standard:

  • It is not consistent with the food ministers’ policy guidelines.
  • It is not consistent with the aims of the FSANZ legislation.
  • It does not protect public health and safety.
  • It does not promote consistency between domestic and international food standards, where these differ.
  • It does not provide enough information to allow informed choice.
  • It is difficult to enforce or comply with in practical or resource terms.
  • It places an unreasonable cost burden on industry or consumers.

If the ministers request a review, FSANZ must:

  1. review the draft standard
  2. either confirm its decision (with or without changes) or withdraw its approval
  3. send the draft standard back to the Food Ministers’ Meeting.

After further consideration, the ministers can accept, amend or reject the draft standard.

Food standards review requests and rejections

This collection includes notifications of requests by the Food Ministers' Meeting for Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to review a draft food standard or draft variation to a food standard. It also includes rejections of draft standards or variations.
Date last updated:
  • Food regulation system