Learn about all the laws governing businesses in South Australia that sell and produce food, how to comply with these laws and the serious consequences if you don't.

SA food safety legislation

As a food business owner or manager, you need to be sure you comply with:
  • Federal government food safety laws
  • SA government food safety laws
  • Local council legislation
If you don't comply, you risk being fined, prosecuted, or even having your business closed down.Below, you'll find information on:
  • all government requirements
  • how to comply
  • what happens if you don't comply
  • who needs to do a Food Safety Supervisor Course
  • other compliance information
SA food safety legislation

South Australian state laws and requirements

SA LegislationFood safety in South Australia is governed by the Food Safety Act 2001.This legislation is enforced by SA Health.The Act requires that all food sold in South Australia is safe and suitable for human consumption and meets all standards set out in the Food Standards Code.SA Classification SystemFood businesses in SA are classified according to the level of risk that they present.
  • Priority 1 (P1) businesses are the highest risk.
  • Priority 4 (P4) businesses are the lowest risk.
These classifications are used to determine priority for inspection, inspection frequency and which regulatory requirements need to be applied.This classification system is different to the federal classification system outlined in FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A which has 2 categories of food businesses. Make sure you know your classification at both a federal and state level.
Training RequirementsIn December 2022, FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A was passed at a federal level. This law states that every food business that serves food must have at least one designated Food Safety Supervisor on staff at all times, and that all Food Handlers must be trained to a specific standard.Food Safety Supervisor trainingFood Safety Supervisors are responsible for:
  • overseeing day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace
  • supervising and training Food Handlers in the business
Food Safety Supervisors must have completed specific nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training.And if your Food Safety Supervisor leaves the business, a replacement must be appointed within 30 days.AIFS has been approved to deliver Food Safety Supervisor training in South Australia.

Federal & local laws and requirements

Federal government requirementsFood Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is responsible for regulating the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the over-arching standard for food safety in Australia.The Code is split into four sections:
  1. Introduction and standards that apply to all food
  2. Food standards
  3. Food safety standards
  4. Primary production standards
Food Standards Code GovernanceThe Food Standards Code is governed by state and territory departments. In South Australia, this is SA Health.Food safety training requirementsFood safety training requirements changed in December 2022 when FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A was passed.This law applies to all businesses that serve food in Australia and requires them to:
  • Have one or more Food Safety Supervisors that have completed nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training
  • Ensure all Food Handlers are trained according to the specifications listed in the standard
  • Maintain and keep additional food safety documentation
All nationally recognised food safety courses offered by AIFS meet the requirements of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A, as well as all state and local requirements.
Local council requirementsLocal councils are usually responsible for food business registration, monitoring compliance, providing education and advice, and taking enforcement action when needed.Both state and federal requirements are enforced at a local level through Health Inspectors employed by local councils.Health Inspectors play an important role in monitoring food safety. They have the authority to:
  • Enter a food business property at any time
  • Enter without permission
  • Request evidence that the correct food safety training has been performed
  • Go into any area of a food business
  • Take samples
  • Issue infringement notices (fines)
  • Close the business immediately if it's deemed to be a serious public health risk
Health Inspectors in South Australia ensure that Food Safety Supervisors have been trained for the correct industry. Recognised industries in South Australia are:
Food Safety Rating SchemeSouth Australian food businesses are rated using SA Health's Food Safety Rating Scheme.This scheme, also referred to as "scores-on-doors", allows state and local councils to rate a food business based on the results of routine food safety inspections.The result is represented as either a number, letter or star rating and is displayed at the food business.

What happens if I don't comply?

for-job-seekers-icon-Temporary closure

Temporary closure

For serious offences, food premises may be temporarily closed. This effectively closes your food business and prevents further trading.
for-job-seekers-icon-Significant fines

Significant fines

On-the-spot fines and penalties may be issued for each offence committed. These often run into tens of thousands of dollars.
for-job-seekers-icon-Prosecution

Prosecution

For serious breaches of legislation, SA Health may start prosecution proceedings against your food business.
for-job-seekers-icon-Brand & reputation damage

Brand & reputation damage

When serious food safety incidents occur and are widely reported in the media, your food business could struggle to recover its reputation.