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Contents (2003 - 43)
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Food Act 2003 No 43
Current version for 7 July 2017 to date (accessed 22 August 2017 at 19:35)
Part 4 Division 1
Division 1 Inspection
37   Powers of authorised officers
(1)  For the purposes of this Act, an authorised officer may, at any reasonable time, do any one or more of the following:
(a)  alone, or with such police officers or other persons as the authorised officer considers necessary, enter and inspect any premises that the authorised officer reasonably believes are used in connection with the handling of any food intended for sale or the sale of food, or any food transport vehicle,
(b)  alone, or with such police officers or other persons as the authorised officer considers necessary, enter and inspect any premises or food transport vehicle, in which the authorised officer reasonably believes that there are any records or documents that relate to the handling of any food intended for sale or the sale of food,
(c)  examine any food intended for sale,
(d)  open and examine any package that the authorised officer reasonably believes contains any food intended for sale or any equipment,
(e)  open and examine any equipment,
(f)  examine any labelling or advertising material that appears to the authorised officer to be intended for use in connection with any food intended for sale or any equipment,
(g)  subject to Division 1 of Part 6, for the purpose of analysing any food sold or intended for sale or for carrying out any other examination in order to determine whether the provisions of this Act or the regulations are being complied with, demand, select and obtain samples of any food,
(h)  for the purpose of analysis, take samples of water or soil or any other thing that is part of the environment in which any food is handled to determine whether that environment poses a risk to the safety of the food for human consumption,
(i)  take samples of any thing, other than for the purpose of analysis, that the authorised officer reasonably believes may be used as evidence that an offence has been, or is being, committed under this Act or the regulations,
(j)  examine any records or documents referred to in paragraph (b), make copies of those records or documents or any part of them and, for that purpose, take away and retain (for such time as may be reasonably necessary) any such records or documents or any part of them,
(k)  stop and detain any vehicle that the authorised officer is authorised by this subsection to enter,
(l)  open, or require to be opened, any container used for the conveyance of goods, or any package, that the authorised officer reasonably believes to contain any food sold or intended for sale, or any equipment,
(m)  take such photographs, films or audio or visual recordings as the authorised officer considers necessary,
(n)  take any measurements and make sketches or drawings or any other type of record,
(o)  require a person to provide information or answer questions in connection with the authorised officer’s functions under this Act or to produce any record, document or thing that an authorised officer is authorised to examine under this Act,
(p)  require a person to state the person’s name and residential address,
(q)  generally make such investigations and inquiries as may be necessary to ascertain whether an offence under this Act or the regulations has been or is being committed.
(2)  This section does not authorise entry into any part of premises that is being used solely for residential purposes, except:
(a)  with the consent of the occupier of the premises, or
(b)  under the authority of a search warrant, or
(c)  if that part of the premises is being used for the preparation or service of meals provided with paid accommodation.
38   Power of seizure
An authorised officer may seize any food, or any vehicle, equipment, package or labelling or advertising material, or any other thing at all, that the authorised officer believes on reasonable grounds:
(a)  is evidence that an offence under this Act or the regulations has been or is being committed, or
(b)  does not comply with a provision of this Act or the regulations, or, in the case of food, is labelled or packaged in a way that does not comply with a provision of this Act or the regulations.
39   Search warrants
(1)  An authorised officer may apply to an authorised justice for a search warrant if the authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a provision of this Act or the regulations has been or is being contravened on premises.
(2)  An authorised justice to whom an application is made under this section may, if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for doing so, issue a search warrant authorising the authorised officer named in the warrant, when accompanied by a police officer, and such other person (if any) as is named in the warrant:
(a)  to enter the premises concerned, and
(b)  to search the premises for evidence of a contravention of this Act or the regulations.
(3)  Division 4 of Part 5 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 applies to a search warrant issued under this section.
40   Failure to comply with requirements of authorised officers
(1)  A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to comply with a requirement of an authorised officer duly made under this Division.
Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units in the case of an individual and 2,500 penalty units in the case of a corporation.
(2)  Such a requirement is not duly made unless, at the time of the making of the requirement, the person of whom the requirement is made is informed by the authorised officer that a refusal or failure to comply with the requirement may constitute an offence.
41   Interfering with seized items
A person must not, without the permission of an authorised officer, detain, remove or tamper with any food, vehicle, equipment, package or labelling or advertising material or other thing that has been seized under this Act, unless it has been returned in accordance with Division 2 or an order disallowing the seizure has been made under that Division.
Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units in the case of an individual and 2,500 penalty units in the case of a corporation.
42   False information
A person must not, in connection with a requirement or direction under this Act, provide any information or produce any document that the person knows is false or misleading in a material particular.
Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units in the case of an individual and 2,500 penalty units in the case of a corporation.
43   Obstructing or impersonating authorised officers
(1)  A person must not, without reasonable excuse, resist, obstruct, or attempt to obstruct, an authorised officer in the exercise of the authorised officer’s functions under this Act.
(2)  A person must not impersonate an authorised officer.
(3)  A person must not threaten, intimidate or assault an authorised officer in the exercise of the authorised officer’s functions under this Act.
Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units.
43A   Powers of authorised officers and food safety auditors may be exercised concurrently
A person who is a food safety auditor and an authorised officer and who is exercising the functions of a food safety auditor in relation to any premises or food transport vehicle may also exercise the functions of an authorised officer but only if the person has first produced his or her certificate of authority issued under section 115:
(a)  to the proprietor of the food business that uses those premises or food transport vehicle or to a person who is apparently in charge of those premises or that vehicle, and
(b)  to any person whom the authorised officer requires to produce anything or to answer any question.