The first step to success is food safety
Every year in Australia, hundreds of businesses are fined or closed down for:
- not following the correct food safety procedures
- not adhering to food safety legislation
Being serious about food safety from the start will help:
- protect your new food business from these problems
- protect your customers from getting sick
In most states and territories, you need to have completed specific food safety training before you can even apply for your food business licence.
What is a food business?
You may be surprised to discover that your new business is considered a food business by law. Examples of typical food businesses include:
- Cafes, restaurants and takeaways
- Hotels and motels
- Bars, pubs and clubs
- Event and conferences centres
- Casinos and gaming venues
- Market stalls
- Convenience stores
- Service stations
- Groceries, butchers, delis and bakeries
- Food based charity organisations
- Catering businesses
- Hospitals or hospices
- Child care or aged care facilities
- School canteens or tuckshops
- Food processing facilities
- Canneries, milleries or breweries
- Food delivery or storage services
How to get a food business licence
Understand your classification
Food business licences are issued depending on how your business is classed. Each state has their own classifications, usually based on food type risks and who your customers are.
Complete mandatory training
In most states and territories, at least one person who works in the business must have undertaken nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor training before you apply for your licence.
Apply to your local council
Even though the laws around food business licensing are governed at a state and territory level, your licence application process is managed through your local council.
In NSW and ACT, your Food Safety Supervisor must complete refresher training every five years. Even if you work elsewhere, it's good practice for the protection of your customers.
Understand food safety laws
Before applying for your food business licence, you need to be sure that you understand your legal requirements. As a food business owner you need to be aware of two types of 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.
Each state has its 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.
Train your staff properly
The Australian Institute of Food Safety offers two nationally recognised courses designed to meet all state and federal requirements for food safety training:
Food Handler Course
This nationally recognised course meets federal requirements that 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 for NSW, QLD, VIC and ACT. Every food business in these states needs at least one nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor on staff, responsible for the overall implementation and management of food safety.
How to ensure your business complies
Train your staff
Ensure all of your Food Handlers are trained in food safety. If you're in NSW, QLD, VIC or ACT, you also need to nominate and enrol your Food Safety Supervisor in a nationally recognised training course.
Build a food safety plan
Your food business needs a food safety plan based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. Ask your Food Safety Supervisor for help as it's part of their official training.
Apply for your food business licence
Once your staff are trained and your food safety plan is in place, you can start the application process for your food business licence. Be sure to check with your local council for any additional requirements.
Display your food safety signage
When you complete your training with AIFS, you get a Food Safety Decal and a Food Safety Display Certificate, recognised by customers nation-wide as testimony that you're serious about food safety.
Prepare for a food safety inspection
Keep your Food Safety Plan up-to-date and ensure your AIFS Food Safety Cards are in a convenient location. A Health Inspector can inspect your food business at any time without warning.
Once everything's up and running, you just need to stay informed. Food Safety Supervisors trained by AIFS receive 2 years membership - so you'll never miss the latest recalls, news or other information.