Food Safety Programs and Vulnerable Persons

Food Safety SupervisorThe 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 illnesses, reduce the regulatory burden on the food industry, and provide consistent food regulation and standards across Australia.

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.

To protect vulnerable persons such as the elderly and infants, the Food Act requires the licensable food businesses to have an accredited food safety program, here are some examples:

  • The kitchen facilities in and operated by a private hospital, prepare food for service to those in the hospitals care.

  • A 55 place child care centre provides long day care to preschool children and provides lunches and morning and afternoon tea to the children. The food is processed in the centre’s kitchen and includes potentially hazardous food.

  • A residential aged care facility that serves meals prepared by an offsite supplier to persons in its care.

  • A cookchill facility that processes readytoeat potentially hazardous food for service to patients in several aged care facilities and a regional hospital.

A food safety program can help a food business manage their operations better through improved recordkeeping and cost control. An appropriate and well-implemented food safety program can also help a food business demonstrate that all due diligence was exercised in the preparation and sale of food.