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EHA : Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
Victorian Branch (continued) Branch Presidents' Reports Special Interest Group Reports Food Special Interest Group At the start of the 2008 year the Food SIG reviewed its role and scope of activity to remind the committee members of the role that the Food SIG holds within EHA and to review what this group is to deliver for EHA members. By reviewing the SIG’s outline the members once again committed themselves to another 12 months to improving food safety in Victoria. As part of the SIG’s core function to provide clarity and direction through policy and best practice, the SIG successfully delivered the revised Food Safety Standard of Practice for Complaints to members. The standard of practice was adopted by Branch Council on 19 October 2007 and officially launched by Samantha Crowe at the SIG’s annual food safety seminar in June 2008. The standard of practice aims to provide guidelines to create a consistent systematic approach for investigating food complaint matters. In August 2007 the SIG reviewed the organisation’s national Australian Food Safety Assessment checklist (ASFA). This proved to be a challenging task and highlighted to the SIG that as a checklist it serves as one of many tools to EHPs in the field. Through much discussion the task has now evolved into identifying and developing detailed guidelines focusing on strategically managing risks. Due to the current food regulatory environment, the SIG found itself needing to review the business plan again to reflect the much anticipated work that will come out of the Department of Human Services’ discussion paper. In addition to achieving the key targets of the business plan, the SIG has continued to provide input and representation on a range of state committees, working groups and reviews including: n Representation on the Food Safety Council n Representation on the DHS/MAV Temporary Food Premises committee n Participated in project reference groups to review DHS’ resources n Contributed to the development of EHA’s legal prosecution course n Responded to local government issues upon request. The SIG values the importance of effectively communicating to EHA members. In order to achieve this, the SIG is actively posting information on the EHA website. This information includes: n SIGs outline n Business plan n Adopted standards of practice n Minutes from meetings (held bimonthly) n Presentations from seminars The SIG finished the last 12 months by delivering professional development to members. On June 11, The SIG hosted the ‘Food Safety – A smorgasbord of issues’ at the Darebin Arts Centre. The sub group headed by Robyn Duffy (co-convenor) delivered another successful seminar that was well supported by members We would like to take this opportunity to thank all SIG members and EHA members who have contributed to the various activities conducted over the last 12 months and we are now preparing ourselves for another very busy and exciting year of food safety. leanne Johnson mAIEH & Robyn Duffy mAIEH Food SIG Co-convenors EHA ANNUAL REPORT 2008 39