The retail food industry comes in a wide range of businesses such as food-vending businesses at temporary or seasonal events, for instance festivals, shows, markets, and fairs. They provide food or consumables to the public while aiming to meet a set of requirements. Mobile food vendors specifically, have to achieve a similar range of prerequisites. In the retail foodservice sector, food businesses in New South Wales are required to appoint at least one trained FSS or Food Safety Supervisor NSW; according to the NSW Food Act 2003. The act also dictates that businesses have to have a FSS when participating in such temporary events.
Stall food vendors
A Food Safety Supervisor should be appointed
Businesses operating during such events should have an FSS, especially if the food they serve and prepare is:
- Potentially harmful to one’s health – one that requires regulation of temperature
- Not served or sold in the original supplier packaging
Not only that, but vendors also need to make sure that a Food Safety Supervisor is appointed and their certificate is available within the business’ vending area before the start of the operation.
Vending operators have food handling responsibilities
Vending businesses are responsible for practising proper food handling. These include:
- Inspecting that the packaged food items are correctly labelled
- Following the adequate way for handwashing
- Understanding that when ill, it’s imperative not to handle food
- Making sure that food handlers are equipped with the right food safety knowledge and skills
- Keeping the food handling premises sanitary
- Storing ready-to-eat foods and raw foods separately
- Preventing cross-contamination
- Keeping specific types of foods at the exact required temperature
Mobile food vendors
Mobile food vendors are considered retail food businesses, simply because they also sell food to the public. Mobile vendors are vehicles that are used for selling and serving the following:
- Any kind of food, including pre-packaged food items
- One-step food preparation, such as coffee, juices, popcorn, and fairy floss (cotton candy)
- On-site food preparation, like kebabs, food, hot dogs, and burgers
Mobile vendors need a FSS too
And like businesses selling food in stalls, they have to comply with a set of requirements. But for vehicles selling low-risk, pre-packaged food, the requirements are only minimal.
Mobile vendors still need to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor NSW when they prepare ready-to-eat and food at high risk of contamination. These businesses also need an FSS if they sell food that’s not in its original packaging. Apart from appointing a FSS, their FSS certificate should be valid and displayed in the vehicle before the operation starts.
They also have food handling duties
Mobile vendors have a responsibility in handling their food items cautiously to avoid cross-contamination. They practice the following procedures:
- Keeping potentially hazardous foodstuffs at the right temperature
- Keeping food handling areas spotless at all times
- Separately storing raw foods from ready-to-eat ones
- Avoiding all means of cross-contamination
The New South Wales Food Authority has a comprehensive self-checklist for mobile food businesses. Businesses are expected to fulfil the guidelines that are based on the prerequisites in the Food Standards Code. Visit the official website for more information here.
The Food Safety Supervisor program was designed to help diminish the risks of foodborne illnesses in the sector through education and improving the skills and knowledge of food handlers. To get training for Food Safety Supervisor NSW, click here or enquire at Club Training Australia today!