Safety on the Menu

New food safety standards, gazetted in late 2022 and set to be enforced from December 2023, will affect all local businesses that serve or prepare food.

Jessica Ierace, an Environmental Health Officer for Broken Hill City Council, said the new standard applies to retail food businesses. It “requires retail businesses that handle unpackaged ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods to implement either two or three new food safety management tools, depending on the risk posed by their food-handling activities.”

These management tools include having a qualified Food Safety Supervisor reasonably available to supervise food handlers, ensuring that all food handlers are trained in hygiene and food safety, and maintaining records of important food safety information.

Ms Ierace explained that “the new tools will require food handlers to complete food safety training and higher-risk businesses to maintain evidence that substantiates critical food safety controls.”
This training could include a recognised food handler course, such as SITXFSA005 Use Hygienic Practices for Food Safety, or a free training program provided by the NSW Food Authority.

Ellen Gillespie, the CEO of Robinson College, stated that “anyone handling food within a business now needs the skills and knowledge to handle potentially hazardous foods.” She added, “If they have not already done so, all food-handling staff should complete a 3.2.2A Approved Training Program; nationally recognised training programs should be undertaken by all regular Food Handlers, whereas occasional Food Handlers may opt for non-nationally recognised training.”

Robinson College offers SITXFSA005 Use Hygienic Practices for Food Safety every month. The course is fully funded by the State Government and is a nationally recognised accredited module. Ms Gillespie mentioned that Robinson College is also currently in the approval process with the NSW Food Authority to deliver the Food Safety Supervisor Certification.

Ms Gillespie urged businesses and employees within the industry to undertake this training before 8 December 2023. Robinson College can be contacted for queries or bookings for training by calling 08 8087 6022.

More information relating to the new standards can be found by visiting the NSW Food Authority website.

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