When it comes to a food business, everyone has a responsibility to be able to handle food properly. These means that everyone, from servers to business owners or employers, must be aware of what food safety entails with regards to their respective work. This is where a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) is important. The role of a FSS is to ensure that any food item is prepared and served as per food safety guidelines. It’s also the job of a FSS to recognise and prevent the risks associated with food handling in a food business, such as dining establishments and catering services. FSSs should have undertaken the necessary training and qualifications required of the job and should have their Food Safety Supervisor NSW certification no older than five years maximum.
The FSS should be able to impart the following information to all employees of a food business. Here is a summary of what information should be provided to whom, as well as the expected roles each part is to perform during operations.
BUSINESS OWNERS/PROPRIETORS need to ensure that effective food safety processes are put in place, in consultation with the FSS. The business owner or proprietor is also required to notify the local council about their food business being in operation and ensure that their business complies with the Food Standards Code, as well as other food safety requirements.
Most importantly, the business owner or proprietor must appoint a FSS, with whom they will work together to implement safe food handling and processing. They are responsible for appointing a new FSS should their current FSS leave their employment or ceases to operate in the role of a FSS. The business owner or proprietor is required to find a new FSS within 30 operational days.
They must also ensure that a copy of the FSS certificate is kept on the premises at all times.
The business owner or proprietor will be held liable if a food safety breach occurs.
The appointed FSS must be able to orient and duly inform the business owner or proprietor regarding these pieces of information.
FOOD HANDLERS must have the necessary skills and knowledge base that’s relevant to their food duties. This means that the chef of a kitchen has different standards to maintain compared to the waitstaff or kitchenhands. Each kitchen staff member must adhere to the standards set by the FSS regarding their workstation and food preparation methods.
The FOOD SAFETY SUPERVISOR or FSS is nominated by and works directly with the owner of an establishment or business. They supervise the food handling, preferably day-to-day, to make sure that it’s done safely for both the food handler and the consumer. The FSS must already have an understanding of the overall food safety processes that apply for all staff of the business of establishment they work for.
While it isn’t necessary for the FSS to always be on the premises, it is considered best practice to have the FSS oversee food processing at all times; as such it is an accepted practice for food businesses to have more than one appointed FSS as needed.
These are the primary duties of a FSS. They are an integral part of operations in a food business, as they provide the information needed to ensure safe food handling and processing. No food business can operate without a FSS, quite literally, as businesses are required to have a FSS on board before being permitted to operate. Businesses that continue operations without a FSS, and aren’t exempt from appointing an FSS, will be subject to penalties.