If you operate any type of food service venue in Victoria, you need to be aware of incoming food safety standard updates that will apply from December.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has recently rolled out a revised edition of the Safe Food Australia Guide. In this updated version, they’ve incorporated new guidelines labeled as Standard 3.2.2A Food Safety Management Tools.
From cafes to caterers, restaurants to food trucks, these new rules apply.
The changes relate to three food safety management tools and state that all relevant businesses must implement at least two of these:
A food safety supervisor (FSS) is someone who has recognised, formal certification as a FSS, obtained in the past five years. They should have recent, relevant skills and knowledge to handle food safely, particularly high-risk food.
As shared by foodstandards.gov.au, the food safety supervisor should be in a position to oversee food handling and be involved in the day-to-day food handling operations of the food area of your business. They must be ‘reasonably available’ as a point of contact for food handlers and authorised officers. Your FSS should regularly handle food as part of their normal duties and spend some of their time on site.
Food businesses must ensure all food handlers have completed a food safety training course, or have appropriate skills and knowledge before they handle high-risk foods.
In some circumstances, your staff’s prior training may be recognised so you may not have to run them through training as part of your onboarding, however consider this as best practice.
In terms of substantiated controls, businesses must keep records or demonstrate that requirements for safely receiving, storing, processing, displaying and transporting potentially hazardous food (foods that must be kept at a particular temperature to keep the food safe), and for cleaning and sanitising are being met. These are called ‘prescribed provisions’. Businesses must show how these have been achieved or verified, and must make a record, unless they can show in another way they are meeting requirements.
Records should be made each day the business is engaged in prescribed activities.
The number of tools your food service business must implement under the new standards depends on the category you are in:
Category 1 businesses include caterers or food service businesses that process unpackaged potentially hazardous food into food that is both ready-to-eat and potentially hazardous food.
The food is then served to a consumer to eat without any further processing.
These businesses are deemed higher risk and need to introduce all three new management tools.
Category 2 businesses retail potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food, where the food was handled unpackaged, but not made or processed onsite (other than slicing, weighing, repacking, reheating or hot-holding).
These businesses must have a (1) food safety supervisor and (2) food handler training.
The new Standard 3.2.2A joins existing standards and is aimed at improving food safety and supporting consumer confidence. You will need to adapt to the new rules if you want to avoid heavy penalties for your business.
Need guidance to help grow your food service or hospitality business? Get in touch with AFS & Associates today.