FOOD SAFETY: IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE
Why It’s Important
There’s always some restaurant or hotel in the news for a food poison outbreak. It’s a common and very real risk for every hospitality business. But it’s one you can minimise. With proper training and the right workplace culture you can be confident in your food safety practices.
While food safety training might be low on your list of priorities as a chef or manager the consequences of bad food safety practices can be catastrophic;
- Customers getting sick
- Death in severe cases
- Bad publicity or word of mouth
- Loss of jobs and profits
- Legal action taken by affected customers
- Heavy fines
- Closure of premises or business
As the boss you want to minimise any chance of those things happening. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your staff knows what to do and that they understand the importance of safe food handling. You’ll gain many benefits;
- Reduce risk of food borne diseases
- Provide greater confidence to customers
- Reduce production costs through reduced wastage
- Facilitate compliance with statutory requirements
- Current and potential hazards can be identified and removed or minimised
Food Safety and the Law
Australia has very strict food hygiene laws that food businesses MUST comply with. States administer these laws and systems so may vary slightly from state to state. However all states base their laws on the Food Standard Code from Food Standard Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).
Under the Food Act 1984, Food Businesses must:
- Be registered and obtain a licence from their local government.
- Undergo inspection from that local government on a regular basis.
- Submit a written Food Safety Program to the local government.
- Nominate a Food Safety Supervisor.
- Ensure that all food handlers possess safe food handling skills and competencies.
And the consequences for breaking the law or serving unhygienic food? The business can potentially receive heavy fines or be closed down! The best place to find out information for Victorian businesses is health.vic.gov.au/public-health/food-safety.
How to Manage Food Safety in Your Business
To manage food safety effectively in your business there is one important focus;
All staff involved in the production and/or service of food need to be trained in appropriate food safety practices.
That means the right food safety training. At a minimum, any staff that handles food (either preparation or serving) must possess safe food handling skills and knowledge. The Victorian Government recommends an accredited course such as our Food Safety Certificate listed below.
Food Safety Training
Food Safety Certificate
This is basic level training and sometimes referred to as the Food Safety Certificate. Under the Food Act, every food business must ensure that all food handlers possess safe food handling skills and knowledge. Any staff member that is involved in the preparation and/or service of food requires this.This requirement can be met by undertaking an accredited food safety short course such as this one. Participants who complete this course will receive a certificate with this accredited unit listed;
SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures
In this training, participants will learn to;
- Follow hygiene procedures and identify hygiene hazards
- Report any personal health issues
- Prevent food and other item contamination
- Prevent cross contamination by washing hands
- The HACCP method for risk control
Food Safety Supervisor
Under the Food Act, every Class 1 or 2 food business must also have a Food Safety Supervisor. This is a more advanced level of food safety training and participants receive a certificate with two accredited;SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures SITXFSA001A Implement food safety procedures
In addition to the skills and knowledge learnt in the Food Safety Certificate course, participants will learn to;
- Implement procedures for food safety
- Store food safely
- Prepare food safely
- Provide safe single use items
- Maintain a clean environment
- Dispose of food safely
Food Safety Refresher
For businesses that don’t require accredited training we offer Food Safety Refresher workshops. Perhaps you have staff already qualified in the Food Safety Certificate or Food Safety Supervisor courses, or perhaps you want training in specific aspects of food safety. These workshops aren’t accredited, but they are an efficient and cost effective way to ensure your food safety knowledge and practices are up to date.
We tailor these to your needs and can include;
- 30 minutes to 2 hours in duration
- up to 20 staff attend
If you’re not sure where to start, or have some specific questions about food safety in your workplace, give us a call on 1300 764 418 or email us now.