All food businesses and organisations in Sydney, like the rest of Australia, are responsible for ensuring that all staff are properly trained in food safety. To meet this requirement and to make sure that all food safety tasks are safely and correctly carried out, often a food business will need to nominate at least one of their staff members to perform the role of Food Safety Supervisor.
To help reduce the number of foodborne illness cases in the hospitality and retail foodservice sectors in NSW, the NSW Food Authority established a Food Safety Supervisor Program (the Program). The Program aims to achieve this goal by improving the skills and knowledge of food handlers. It also aims to provide food businesses with resources that allow them to engage in high-quality, consistent training which is undertaken through NSW approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).
The laws surrounding food safety in Sydney food businesses, which are regulated by the NSW Food Authority, are different than the other Australian states and territories. In Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a Food Safety Supervisor needs to hold a valid Statement of Attainment with the relevant units of competency included on it.
However in NSW, an authorised Food Safety Supervisor will not only need to hold a valid Statement of Attainment with the relevant units of competency included on it, they will also need to have a current NSW Food Authority Food Safety Supervisor certificate; this NSW Food Authority certificate must be redone every five years to remain current.
What Are the Food Safety Supervisor Requirements in Sydney
According to the NSW Food Authority, a Food Safety Supervisor is a person who:
- is trained to recognise and prevent risks associated with food handling in a retail food business
- holds a current Food Safety Supervisor certificate (no more than five years old)
- is not a Food Safety Supervisor for any other food premises or mobile catering business
- can train and supervise other people in the business about safe food handling practices
The NSW Food Authority says it is the aim of a Food Safety Supervisor is to help prevent individuals from becoming sick as a result of the incorrect handling and/or preparation of food.
According to the Authority, the Food Safety Supervisor requirement applies to retail businesses who process and sell (prepare & serve) food that is:
- potentially hazardous (i.e. needs temperature control)
- not sold and served in the supplier’s original package
Some examples of these businesses include: restaurants, cafés, take away shops, caterers, bakeries, pubs, clubs, hotels, B & B’s, entertainment venues and supermarkets that sell hot food.
Certain food organisations in Sydney can be ‘licenced’ by the Authority and are therefore exempt from the Food Safety Supervisor requirement. However, in order to be approved and granted an authorised licence, a food business would still likely require a Food Safety Supervisor. You are advised to contact the Authority if you are unclear about what your requirements are.
Food Sectors in Sydney
To be qualified as a Food Safety Supervisor in Sydney, one step is to successfully complete the relevant units of competency for one or both of the food sectors.
The units of competency that must be completed for a Food Safety Supervisor to be fully qualified in Sydney are; either two hospitality units; or one retail unit. The different units are listed below:
HOSPITALITY: SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety (previously SITXFSA101 Use hygienic practices for food safety) & SITXFSA002 Participate in safe food handling practices (previously SITXFSA201 Participate in safe food handling practices)
RETAIL: SIRRFSA001 Handle food safely in a retail environment (previously SIRRFSA001A Apply retail food safety practices)
Becoming a Food Safety Supervisor in Sydney
Only training which is delivered by an NSW Food Authority approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO) will be recognised by the Authority.
The Australian Institute of Food Safety offers the official AIFS Food Safety Supervisors course. This course has been authorised and approved by the NSW Food Authority and meets all of the requirements of an approved Food Safety Supervisor in Sydney’s retail and hospitality food-handling environment.