Food Safety Training Requirements: An Overview

This guide will help you choose a course that meets the units of competency set by the Australian Government.
March 15, 2016

Nationally recognised food safety training is highly recommended for all staff who handle food in a business. 

However, only Food Safety Supervisors are legally required to have accredited food safety training in Australia.

In this article, we outline the relevant food safety knowledge and skills that each employee will need to make sure a food business operates within legal requirements.

Food Safety Supervisor

A Food Safety Supervisor is required in many states and territories in Australia to oversee a business in food safety management. They must participate in a nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training course that will allow them to:

  • Understand and apply food safety law and theory to create practical strategies that will protect customers from food-borne illnesses.
  • Manage physical, chemical and biological hazards in the workplace to protect workers and customers.
  • Design a Food Safety Program that will effectively manage all risks arising in a business.
  • Manage safety in the supply chain, including monitoring deliveries for quality assurance.
  • Prepare the business for the event of a food safety emergency, such as an allergy incident or pest problem.
  • Represent the business to local government.
  • Oversee staff training in food safety.

Food Handlers

Under Australian law, Standard 3.2.2 stipulates that the food business owner has the responsibility of making sure that employees who handle food or food contact surfaces follow correct food safety procedures.

Employers have a duty to ensure all employees:

  • Know the correct temperatures needed to cook foods too, so they are safe for consumption.
  • Have the skills to ensure that the food is cooked to the correct temperature.
  • Know what temperature to store foods to preserve their quality, for example, frozen foods should be kept at minus 15°C, cold foods at 5°C, and hot foods at 60°C.
  • Have the skills to monitor equipment and ensure that storage areas comply with these temperatures.
  • Know which foods can contaminate others (raw foods, poultry, etc.)
  • Have the skills to separate these foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Know how to clean and sanitise surfaces and utensils, and apply these skills.
  • Know how to clean and sanitise hands thoroughly.
  • Know how often to wash hands.
  • Demonstrate competence in safe food preparation.
  • Have access to the necessary equipment and protective gear, such as gloves and aprons, which are regularly sanitised to a safe level.
  • Have an understanding of health and safety policies that apply in the workplace to protect their welfare and the welfare of customers.

Employees should also know how to:

  • Recognise hazards on the job, including pests or contamination.
  • Report perceived hazards to the Food Safety Supervisor.
  • Manage allergy risks in customers.
  • Relay crucial information about a food poisoning case to management.

Business’ may wish to train food handlers through an Introduction to Food Safety course, an accredited Food Handler course or through in-house training.