Food Safety Supervisors: A State and Territory Guide

This guide describes the specific state and territory requirements for Food Safety Supervisors.
June 30, 2016
By Grace Smith

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code guides food safety across Australia. However, each state and territory is in charge of interpreting this code for its residents. This means that food businesses in certain States and Territories must employ a Food Safety Supervisor.

As a result, food safety law varies across Australia. Please use the guide below to determine whether your state requires your food business to have a Food Safety Supervisor.

If your state or territory is not listed here, your business is not legally required to have a Food Safety Supervisor. However, it is highly recommended that you nominate one to protect your customers and increase your business’ efficiency through food safety.

New South Wales

NSW has the strictest and most complex laws on food safety in Australia, regulated by the New South Wales Food Authority.

The NSW Food Authority uses a Priority Classification System to classify food businesses according to the risk involved with the business’s food product.

Classifications include:

  • Priority 1 (P1) – highest risk
  • Priority 2 (P2)
  • Priority 3 (P3)
  • Priority 4 (P4) – lowest risk

Businesses that operate in the following industries must have an NSW Food Authority licence:

  • Aged care
  • Children’s services
  • Producers or processors of plant products with a P1 classification
  • Meat handlers or processors
  • Seafood handlers or processors
  • Shellfish handlers
  • Dairy producers, factories and vendors
  • Producers or processors of eggs and egg-related products

Businesses covered by the NSW Food Authority licence do not need to nominate a Food Safety Supervisor.

However, all businesses that are not listed above that process or sell food at a retail or hospitality level must have a Food Safety Supervisor. This includes businesses who sell food that is:

  • Ready-to-eat,
  • Potentially hazardous (requires temperature control), and
  • Not sold and served in the supplier’s original packaging.

Examples include:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Takeaway shops
  • Caterers that process and serve food at one fixed location
  • Mobile caterers that process and transport food to more than one location
  • Bakeries
  • Pubs
  • Clubs
  • Hotels
  • Temporary premises (food market stalls)
  • Mobile food vendors who process and sell food from a van
  • Supermarket hot food sales

NSW food businesses that do NOT need to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor include:

  • Not-for-profit community groups and charities
  • Coffee vendors that only heat milk
  • School canteens (primary and secondary)
  • Boarding schools
  • Out of school hours care centres
  • Correctional Centres
  • Supermarkets where heated food is not sold
  • Businesses that only slice fermented meat or small goods
  • Businesses that only slice or portion cheese
  • Businesses that process raw seafood
  • Businesses that slice or portion fruit or vegetables

If you need further guidance, please contact the NSW Food Authority.

Queensland

In QLD, all licensed food businesses must have a Food Safety Supervisor.

Victoria

Under state law, most food businesses in Victoria who classify as a Class 1 or Class 2 food premises must have a Food Safety Supervisor.

Class 1

Class 1 comprises of businesses that prepare or deliver potentially hazardous food to persons who are deemed to have vulnerable immune systems. This includes:

  • Hospitals
  • Aged care facilities
  • Children’s services

Class 2

These are food businesses that handle any unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods for consumption by the general public.

For more information, please consult the Department of Health’s classification scale.

In Victoria, Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses are also required to have a Food Safety Program, which you can request your Food Safety Supervisor to design and implement.

Victorian food businesses who classify as Class 3 or Class 4 do not need a Food Safety Supervisor.

However, all food businesses in Victoria must ensure their food staff have adequate food safety skills and knowledge to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Standard 3.2.2.

Australian Capital Territory

All licensed ACT food businesses must appoint a Food Safety Supervisor.