Food Safety Laws & Requirements for Established Businesses

If you're not managing food safety properly the consequences can be serious. Ensure that you're following the law and protecting both your customers and your business.

Comply with all laws. All the time.

If you manage an established food business, you've probably got a food safety plan in place and have your most senior staff trained in food safety.

But as things change you need to be sure you're always meeting your state and federal compliance requirements. For example:

  • Does your nominated Food Safety Supervisor still work with you?
  • Is their certificate still valid?
  • Do all employees meet federal requirements for Food Handler training?

It's not just the law you need to think about.

Your customers may be suffering as unsafe food practices creep in to everyday business activities.

Know your Food Safety Laws

Food safety is governed by two sets of legislation - state and federal. Both are enforced at a local council level by Health Inspectors.

Federal Legislation

The federal legislation is governed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

It states that anyone who works with food must be trained in certain aspects of food safety at a level appropriate to their role.

State Legislation

Each state has it's own Food Safety Act that needs to be adhered to.

Legislation is strictest in NSW, QLD, VIC and ACT where it's mandatory to have a fully trained Food Safety Supervisor at every business location.

Be aware of non-compliance penalties

Some of the worst food poisoning outbreaks in recent times have occurred from simple mistakes, such as someone not washing their hands properly.

If your business causes a food-borne illness outbreak or is found to not be following food safety legislation the consequences can be dire.

Heavy fines

Fines for failing to comply can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some businesses have multiple charges raised against them at once.

Licence Issues

Based on the seriousness of the food safety offence you may be issued with a Show Cause Notice, have your licence suspended, or even worse, cancelled.

Damaged reputation

The media frequently report food safety scandals. It can be difficult for a food business or manager to recover their reputation after a food safety incident.


Depending on how your food business is structured, you may be held personally liable for a food safety incident and be liable for prosecution.

Business closure

If your food business is deemed a serious health risk to the general public, a Health Inspector has the power to close it down immediately.


Sadly, one lingering effect of a food-borne illness outbreak is the feeling of remorse felt by business managers if customers fall seriously ill or lose their lives.

Food safety training requirements for your staff

All employees in your food business must be trained in food safety. AIFS offers two nationally recognised courses designed to meet state and federal requirements:

Food Handler Course

This nationally recognised course meets federal laws that state anyone who works with food needs the appropriate food safety training for their role.

It covers the most important elements of food safety including laws and regulations, personal hygiene, what causes food poisoning, and how to maintain a clean workplace.

Food Safety Supervisor Course

This nationally recognised course is more advanced and meets specific state legislation for food safety training including in NSW, QLD, VIC and ACT.

Every food business in these states needs at least one nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor on staff, responsible for overall implementation and management of food safety.

Food Safety Compliance Checklist

Train all Food Handlers

Ensure that all employees who handle food are trained in food safety.

Do compliance-guaranteed training

AIFS food safety training is approved to meet all federal, state and local government legislation.

NSW Food Authority approved

Obtain your NSW Food Authority certificate when you complete the official AIFS Food Safety Supervisor course.

Nominate a Food Safety Supervisor

Most food businesses in Australia must employ a qualified Food Safety Supervisor on their team.

Confirm your food sector

Confirm that your Food Safety Supervisor is doing the right course for your industry sector.

Plan refresher training

Refresher training is mandatory in some states, and ensures that food safety stays top of mind for employees.