As with other business operators, liquor licensees and approved managers must have knowledge of a range of laws which affect their business.
While at times, the sheer volume of rules and regulations may be daunting to keep up with, compliance will assist operators to reduce their risk and potentially improve their bottom line. For example, consider fire safety laws and the huge exposure of a licensee who does not have fire and evacuation plans.
A quick overview is provided of some of the more significant areas for liquor licensees.
Food and hygiene
The purpose of the Food Act 2006 is to:
Ensure food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption
Prevent misleading conduct relating to the sale of food
Apply the food standards code
The Food Act contains penalties for unsafe food handling or selling unsafe food, which attract fines of up to $100,000 or two years imprisonment.
A defence of due diligence, or proving that you took all reasonable steps to prevent a breach of the Act, is also in the Act.
The proprietor in charge of a food business must ensure that:
The business has a current food business licence issued by the local council
Every licensable food business must appoint a qualified food safety supervisor and high volume suppliers, those who cater for function may also be required to have developed and implemented a compliant food safety plan
Any staff handling food has the skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene relevant to their activities
Provide accessible washing facilities
Licensees and approved managers can obtain further information and guides available from: www.health.qld.gov.au and www.foodstandards.gov.au.