Food safety in New South Wales (NSW) is regulated by the NSW Food Authority, the federal government and local councils. Like many other states, food businesses in NSW are required to employ at least one Food Safety Supervisor in order to ensure a business’s food is safely handled and prepared.
Food safety regulation in NSW is also subject to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code as well as the NSW Food Act 2003 and the NSW Food Regulation 2015. The most important outcome of a Food Safety Supervisor course is that the student has gained the skills and knowledge necessary for them to perform the food safety tasks required of the role.
Food Safety Supervisor responsibilities
Food Safety Supervisors are responsible for overseeing the overall food safety standards and practices in a food business. As part of their job, the Food Safety Supervisor must:
- know how to recognise, prevent and alleviate food safety hazards associated with food handling in the business
- have the authority to supervise and give directions about matters relating to food safety to persons who handle food in the food business
- hold a NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate that shows they have the required units of competency (UOCs) from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), such as the Australian Institute of Food Safety
Anyone associated with the handling of food in a food business may become a Food Safety Supervisor in NSW, from business owners to kitchen hands, provided they have completed the appropriate training requirements.
Food Safety Supervisor training requirements in NSW
Food Safety Supervisors in New South Wales must complete nationally recognised units of competency, as determined by the NSW Food Authority, as well as the Food Authority’s own key focus areas. They must hold a New South Wales Food Safety Supervisor certificate (FSS certificate).
Food Safety Supervisor training in NSW must be delivered by an approved RTO. Only approved RTOs can train and issue the NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate.
The Australian Institute of Food Safety’s Food Safety Supervisor course has been approved by the NSW Food Authority. It includes the Food Authority’s three key focus areas:
- safe egg handling
- allergen management
- cleaning and sanitising practices
Food Safety Supervisors who intend to work in New South Wales must enrol in this version of the course. After completing the AIFS course, students will be issued an FSS certificate on behalf of the NSW Food Authority.
The FSS certificate must be displayed in the food business at all times; during a food safety inspection, the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) will verify that the business’s Food Safety Supervisor possesses this certificate and has obtained the required unit(s) of competency.
Food sectors and units of competency
The NSW Food Authority only recognises the retail and hospitality units of competency. The units of competency that are required for each of these sectors are listed below.
A hospitality business is any business where food is prepared and served to customers — for example, restaurants, cafés, hotels, bars, pubs, and event or conference centres.
In NSW, Food Safety Supervisors in the hospitality sector should obtain the following units of competency:
- SITXFSA001 Use hygienic practices for food safety
- SITXFSA002 Participate in safe food handling practices
A retail business is any business where food is sold to customers (usually to be consumed elsewhere) — for example, supermarkets, grocers, butchers, bakers and delis, convenience stores, caterers and takeaways.
In NSW, Food Safety Supervisors in the retail sector should obtain the following unit of competency:
- SIRRFSA001 Handle food safely in a retail environment
Note: Many food businesses and organisations outside of hospitality and retail — including food processing, health & community services and transport & distribution businesses — are required to have a Food Safety Supervisor. It’s a good idea to contact the NSW Food Authority directly if clarification is required for your specific food industry.
The NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate
To obtain a NSW Food Safety Supervisor certificate (FSS certificate):
- Enrol in an accredited Food Safety Supervisor course.
- On the enrolment form, select “Yes — I require a NSW Food Authority Certificate”.
- Complete the lessons and case studies (these are the same for all sectors).
- Select the appropriate food sector for the Observer Report.
An Observer Report is a student assessment form that must be filled out by a co-worker or supervisor. It verifies that the aspiring Food Safety Supervisor has demonstrated practical food safety knowledge and skills in the workplace.
FSS certificates expire five years from the date of issue. A Food Safety Supervisor whose certificate is due to expire needs to complete the NSW Recertification course.
Food businesses have 30 working days to ensure their appointed Food Safety Supervisor renews their training and obtains a new Food Safety Supervisor certification, or to appoint another Food Safety Supervisor with a valid certificate.