Like other food businesses in Australia, all food businesses in Melbourne have a responsibility to ensure that all staff are properly trained in food safety. To meet this requirement and ensure that all food safety tasks are properly carried out, most Melbourne food businesses will need to have at least one of their staff members employed as a Food Safety Supervisor.
What Are the Food Safety Supervisor Requirements in Melbourne?
According to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a Food Safety Supervisor is someone who:
- knows how to recognise, prevent and alleviate food handling hazards at your premises
- has a Statement of Attainment that shows the required food safety competencies from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
- has the ability and authority to supervise other people handling food at the premises and ensure that food handling is done safely
If you are the nominated Food Safety Supervisor for a business, DHHS says that it is the responsibility of the food businesses to ensure that you have everything needed to perform the role in the business. This typically means that:
- it is mentioned in the job description
- you know what the role is and what your responsibilities are
- you have relevant and appropriate training
- you are allocated time in their day to undertake food safety supervisor tasks
- you are able to supervise other staff and ensure staff are aware who the food safety supervisor is
- you know what to do if there are any food safety issues in your business
The business’s Food Safety Supervisor does not need to be on premises during all hours that the business is open, nor must they complete all of the food safety tasks in the food business. However, they must be ‘reasonably available’ and also aware of how food is being handled even when they are not physically on the premises.
This also applies to businesses that operate in shifts or when a person from outside of the actual business is the nominated Food Safety Supervisor.
Does My Business Require a Food Safety Supervisor?
The Food Act 1984 (Victoria) states all Melbourne food businesses must be registered with and/or notify their local council’s health unit of all food-related activities. Once the local council has been notified, they will judge the individual food safety requirements of the food business.
There are many things which are taken into account with regards to the food safety requirements of a Melbourne food business – including the kind of high-risk foods produced by the business and the likelihood of food poisoning occurring.
Local councils are also able to advise the food business of the particular food sector it falls under so that the correct Food Safety Supervisor qualification can be completed.
Working as a Food Safety Supervisor in Melbourne
If you want to become a qualified Food Safety Supervisor and work in a food business in Melbourne, the DHHS says you must either; complete an approved training course, or have previously completed training and/or work experience recognised against the required competency standard by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
If you hold a Nationally Recognised Statement of Attainment, it must have the minimum units of competency of your business’s food sector printed on it in order to be qualified as a Food Safety Supervisor in Melbourne.
An RTO is authorised to provide valid Statements of Attainment as they are organisations which are accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – the national regulator for Australia’s vocational education and training sector.
Industry Requirements for Victoria: Which Food Sector Do I Belong To?
Food Sectors are training guides which outline the units of competency that you are required to complete in order for you to be considered a qualified Food Safety Supervisor in each industry.
Most food business will generally fall into one of the below food sectors; however, there are some businesses which might appear to fit more than one category. You are advised to contact your local council if you are unsure which food sectors your business falls under.
Victoria’s DHHS website outlines the current minimum competency standard required for a Food Safety Supervisor in each food sector below:
Food Processing – FBPFSY1001 'Follow work procedures to maintain food safety' AND FBPFSY2001 ‘Implement the food safety program and procedures’
Businesses such as food product manufacturers including flour mills, canneries, packers, bakers, breweries and wineries.
Retail – SIRRFSA001 ‘Handle food safely in a retail environment'
Businesses such as supermarkets, convenience stores, grocers, and delicatessens.
Hospitality – SITXFSA001 ‘Use hygienic practices for food safety’ AND SITXFSA002 ‘Participate in safe food handling’
Businesses such as restaurants, cafes and hotels.
Health and Community Services – HLTFS2E001 ‘Follow basic food safety practices’ AND HLTFSE005 ‘Apply and monitor food safety requirements’ AND HLTFSE007 ‘Oversee the day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace’
Businesses such as hospitals, aged care facilities, nursing homes and childcare.
Transport and Distribution – Use relevant units from other sectors. Typically though, SITXFSA001 ‘Use hygienic practices for food safety’ AND SITXFSA002 ‘Participate in safe food handling’ businesses such as warehouses.