FAQ: Food Safety Programs

Food Safety SupervisorDo I need a food safety program?

Under the Act, certain licensable food businesses in Queensland must have a food safety program accredited by their local government. There are significant penalties for not having an accredited food safety program.

The licensee of a food business must have an accredited food safety program if:

  • The food business involves off‐site catering
  • The primary activity of the food business is on‐site catering at the premises stated in the licence
  • The primary activity of the food business is on‐site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence

What is a food safety program?

A food safety program is a documented system that identifies the food safety hazards in the handling of food in a food business, and details the ways the hazards will be controlled in that business.

Why develop a food safety program?

The introduction of food safety programs for certain sectors of the food industry was part of the national food reform process which aimed to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness, reduce the regulatory burden on the food industry, and provide consistent food regulation and standards across Australia.

The National Risk Validation Report published in 2002 identified:

  • The incidence of food‐borne illness attributed to various food industry sectors
  • The most cost-effective method to reduce the incidence of food borne illness
  • The overall cost benefit of implementing food safety programs

The report identified food service in catering operations, as one of five high risk industry sectors, in which food safety programs would reduce the incidence of food‐borne illness.

What are the benefits of a food safety program?

A food safety program is a documented system for managing parameters linked to food safety. If developed and followed properly, a food safety program helps to ensure food for sale is safe.

A food safety program can also help food business owners manage their operations better through improved record keeping and cost control. An appropriate and well implemented food safety program can also help Food Safety Supervisors demonstrate that all due diligence was exercised in the preparation and sale of food.

X