Food Safety in Commercial Vessels – Part II

Food Safety SupervisorOperators of a charter vessels, passenger service or other commercial vessel businesses, which sell and/or handle food intended for sale, should seek advice specific to the design and fit out of the vessel as a food business from the local government’s environmental health officer.

Size and weight are major factors in the design of all parts of a vessel. The Food Safety Standards allow flexibility in how you set up your galley, but it must meet some minimum requirements to ensure that you can store, handle and serve food safely.

The elements that you must include on your galley are:

  • A dedicated hand wash basin with soap and paper towels

  • An adequate supply of water for drinking, hand washing, cleaning and food preparation

  • Protection from dust, dirt, fumes, smoke, pests and other contaminants

  • Enough space for preparing food

  • Enough cold storage for food

  • Separate storage for garbage and waste water

  • Enough space and equipment to prepare food safely

If you can’t meet a structural requirement essential for making sure your food is safe, you may need to change the type of foods you serve, e.g. use only packaged sandwiches bought on-shore rather than prepare them aboard.

Anyone who handles food must have skills and knowledge of food safety and hygiene that reflects the type of food handling they do. For example, if someone only washes the dishes, they only need to know how to do that safely. However, if they make, store and serve prawn rolls, they need different skills and knowledge.

It is the responsibility of the licensee of the food business to ensure that food handlers have the appropriate skills and knowledge to safely undertake all food handling tasks assigned to them.