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Food safety training

All food businesses are required to ensure people who work in their business have skills and knowledge appropriate to the type of work they do. This includes:

Additionally, some high-risk food businesses are also required to have a food safety auditor inspect their records.

Food handlers

Food handers do not need formal training. It is up to the business owner/proprietor to make sure food handlers have the required skills and knowledge. You may:

  • have staff compete the free online training program DoFoodSafely
  • provide food safety and hygiene information for staff to read
  • develop operating rules that set out responsibilities of food handlers and their supervisors
  • provide ‘in-house’ training by the supervisor or other staff
  • send staff to food safety courses run by other people
  • hire a consultant to run a course for the staff.

Read more about the responsibilities of food handlers.

Food safety supervisors

Every licensed food business is required to have a food safety supervisor for businesses to add an on-site level of protection for day-to-day food safety. A food safety operator must:

  • Know how to recognise, prevent and alleviate food safety hazards of the business, have skills and knowledge in food safety matter relevant to the business.
  • Have the authority to supervise and give directions about food safety matters to food handlers.
  • Must be reasonably available to be contacted while the food business is being carried on by:
    • the local government that licensed the food business
    • any food handler at the food business.

Anyone can be a food safety supervisor and there may be more than one food safety supervisor for each food business. It is recommended that food safety supervisors complete training and obtain a statement of attainment issued by a registered training organisation (RTO) for the relevant food sector where they work.

Recommended competency standards for food safety supervisors

Food sector Competency title National competency code
Food processing Follow work procedures to maintain food safety FBPFSY1001
Implement the food safety program and procedures FBPFSY2001
Retail and hospitality Use hygienic practices for food safety SITXFSA001
Participate in safe food handling practices SITXFSA002
Handle food safely in a retail environment SIRRFSA001
Health and community services Follow basic food safety practices HLTFSE001
Oversee the day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace HLTFSE007
Apply and monitor food safety requirements HLTFSE005
Transport and distribution Use hygienic practices for food safety SITXFSA001
Participate in safe food handling practices SITXFSA002

Competency codes and titles are set by the National Quality Council and may change. If your food safety supervisor has a different competency code or title to those shown above, contact your local government for advice.

Examples of food businesses for each food sector

Food processingRetail and hospitalityHealth and community servicesTransport and distribution
  • airline caterers
  • wholesale bakers
  • breweries
  • canneries
  • flour mills
  • ice manufacturers
  • packers
  • pre-prepared meals
  • wine productions
  • caterers for private functions
  • convenience stores
  • delicatessens
  • grocers
  • hotels
  • retail market and stalls
  • restaurants
  • supermarkets
  • takeaways and cafes
  • catering for hospitals and nursing homes
  • childcare centres
  • hospitals
  • hostels
  • meals on wheels
  • nursing homes
  • bulk food distribution
  • water carriers
  • warehouse

Where to undertake recommended training

The recommended training for food safety supervisors is conducted by registered training organisations (RTOs). To find an RTO visit training.gov.au and enter the recommended competency code under ‘nationally recognised training’, in the search results select ‘Find RTOs approved to deliver this unit of competency’.

Food business licensees are encouraged to confirm that their chosen training provider is a current RTO and will provide a statement of attainment on successful completion of the recommended competencies.

Defining ‘reasonably available’

The Food Act 2006 always requires a food safety supervisor to be ‘reasonably available’ to be contacted by the local government and food handlers at the food business. A food safety supervisor should be located on the premises or should be able to be contacted by the local government or food handlers whenever food handling is being undertaken.

There is no specific requirement to have 1 food safety supervisor for every store location, but 1 must be reasonably available for each store.

If the food safety supervisor is absent, such as on leave, there should be a documented mechanism to ensure directions about matters relating to food safety are available to persons who handle food. For example, written guidance for temperature control measures for delivers and cold storage.

A food safety supervisor is not required to be available when the business is operating but no food handling is being undertaken. For example, a sporting club kitchen closes at 9pm but the club remains open until 11pm for entertainment. A food safety supervisor is not required for the period after 9pm.

Nominating a food safety supervisor

A food business licensee must notify the local government that issues their licence of the name and contact details of their food safety supervisor.

For further information, contact your local council.

Food safety auditors

The role of a food safety auditor is to:

  • provide advice to local governments about accreditation of food safety programs
  • conduct audits of accredited food safety programs
  • prepare audit reports and provide copies to the local government and the holder of the accredited food safety program.

Only auditors approved by the Queensland Department of Health can conduct audits of an accredited food safety program for the purposes of the Food Act 2006. This is different from auditing for the purposes of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) or other industry certification requirements.

Auditor qualifications

Queensland Health assesses applications using nationally consistent criteria as defined in the National regulatory food safety auditor guideline and policy.

In order to become an approved auditor, applicants must provide evidence of the successful completion of:

And demonstrate they:

  • have the necessary expertise or experience to perform the functions of an auditor
  • are a suitable person to be an auditor.

The Department of Health will undertake a national criminal history check. Applicants who do not provide consent to conduct a criminal history check will be deemed as not fulfilling the requirements of the assessment process.

Specialised scopes of approval

To obtain specialised scopes of approval, in addition to those listed above applicants need to show evidence of completion of the following competency units:

Competency codes and titles are set by the National Quality Council and may change from time to time.

Applying to be an auditor

Complete the application form and submit it along with the fees and required documentation. This form can be used to re-apply if your approval has expired.

Download the application for approval (new or expired applications)

Fees may change from year to year, they are automatically indexed on 1 October each year. Always refer to the current schedule of fees.

Renewals and amendments

Approved auditors can apply for a renewal or amendment

  • Application for renewal of approval – apply before your current approval expires. Existing approval remains current until a decision on the renewal application is made.
  • Application to amend conditions of approval – apply for amendment of the conditions of approval. For example, to add the specialised scope of cook chill processes to their approval after successfully completing the additional competency requirements

Approved auditor's details will be included on a register of approved auditors. The register contains the name and contact details of the auditor, the scope of the auditor's approval, the expiry date of the approval and the local government areas of service.

Last updated: 28 February 2020