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Food Safety Supervisor Course

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Food Safety Supervisor Course for Serving Staff

January 17, 2024

The Australian hospitality sector employs more than 121,700 serving staff, emphasising their potential influence on food safety. These frontline staff play a significant role as the last line of defence, making them worthy candidates for the position of Food Safety Supervisor.

The appointment of a designated Food Safety Supervisor is a legal requirement outlined by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Standard 3.2.2A. This recently introduced food safety legislation applies to all establishments where food is prepared, handled, or served. It’s strictly enforced by local authorities, emphasising the importance of having a certified Food Safety Supervisor in place at all times.

To become a certified Food Safety Supervisor, serving staff must undergo professional training to acquire the knowledge and skills required to successfully establish and oversee food safety procedures in the workplace.

In this blog, we’ll introduce the Food Safety Supervisor course, discussing its relevance to the serving staff in the hospitality sector and the broader impact it can have, both in terms of legal compliance and consumer safety.

What Does FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A Mean For Serving Staff?

FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A establishes the same food safety guidelines for serving staff as it does for chefs, kitchen hands and food truck operators. The application of these regulations is three-fold, encompassing food handling, food safety supervision and record management:

1. Food Handling

Standard 3.2.2A mandates that all employees engaged in any type of food handling activity must participate in specific training. The aim of this is to ensure that Food Handlers (including serving staff) understand the risks associated with improper food handling procedures and the actions required to mitigate them.

Comprehensive training enhances a food server’s ability to identify potential hazards, implement proper hygiene practices, and understand the importance of temperature control. This not only protects the safety of their customers but also safeguards the reputation of their employer.

2. Food Safety Supervision

Another stipulation of Standard 3.2.2A is the mandatory appointment of a certified Food Safety Supervisor. This individual assigned to this role is responsible for overseeing all food handling activities and ensuring that food safety protocols are diligently followed by food handling colleagues.

The Food Safety Supervisor must adopt a proactive approach, identifying and correcting issues before they can potentially impact consumer health. This proactive stance not only ensures legal compliance but also fosters a culture of food safety throughout the business.

3. Record management

In order to comply with FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A, Category 1 businesses involved in high-risk food preparation must implement a detailed record-keeping system to enhance the traceability and accountability surrounding food safety incidents.

Record management is about more than regulatory compliance; it’s also about establishing a robust system that matches up to the scrutiny imposed by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) during routine inspections. This proactive measure helps demonstrate your business’s dedication to transparency and food safety compliance.

Do Serving Staff Need Food Safety Training?

Due to the hands-on nature of their job, all serving staff must complete a government-approved Food Handler training program in order to comply with federal food safety legislation. Not only does the Food Handling Certificate (Level 1) course ensure that serving staff are aware of their responsibilities as a Food Handler, but it also acts as a stepping stone to becoming a certified Food Safety Supervisor in the hospitality industry.

Food Safety Supervisor training enables serving staff to conduct the following duties to the required standard:

  • Development and implementation of a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.Ensuring compliance with food safety legislation.
  • Maintaining accurate records in relation to food safety policies and procedures.
  • Monitoring of food safety procedures.
  • Taking corrective actions to overcome food safety issues.
  • Training and supervising food handling staff.

What Are the Training Requirements for a Food Safety Supervisor?

To become a certified Food Safety Supervisor, serving staff in Australia must successfully complete a Food Safety Supervisor course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as Food Safety First.

What Does the Food Safety Supervisor Course Involve?

The Food Safety Supervisor course curriculum features 19 interactive learning modules focused on various aspects of food safety, each of which is followed by a multiple choice quiz designed to verify your knowledge and understanding:

Lesson 1 - Food Safety Laws & Responsibilities
Lesson 2 - Food Contamination & High-Risk Groups
Lesson 3 - Biological Contamination
Lesson 4 - Other Types of Contamination
Lesson 5 - Allergen Management
Lesson 6 - Cleaning & Sanitising
Lesson 7 - Maintaining Food Premises
Lesson 8 - Hand Washing
Lesson 9 - Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
Lesson 10 - Illness & Onsite Injuries
Lesson 11 - Time & Temperature Control
Lesson 12 - Receiving & Storing Food
Lesson 13 - Working with Food Safely
Lesson 14 - Serving Food Safely
Lesson 15 - Food Safety Programs
Lesson 16 - Identifying Food Safety Hazards
Lesson 17 - Monitoring, Controlling & Correcting Food Safety Hazards
Lesson 18 - Reporting, Investigating & Recording Food Safety Breaches
Lesson 19 - Food Safety Management

In addition to the above, students are required to complete two case studies*, a reading activity and an Observer Report. Once all of these assessment activities have been successfully completed, a Statement of Attainment is awarded. This official certification document outlines the units of competency that have been obtained as part of the course and should be retained in case an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) requests proof of certification during a routine inspection.

*In New South Wales, state regulations mandate that students complete three additional case studies, encompassing the following topics: cleaning and sanitising, allergen management, and safe egg handling.

What Units of Competency Do You Need to Be a Food Safety Supervisor in Hospitality?

Food Safety Supervisor training includes sector-specific content aligned to the relevant units of competency features in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Serving staff are part of the hospitality industry and, as such, are required to achieve the following competencies when participating in the Food Safety Supervisor course:

  • SITXFSA005 (Use hygienic practices for food safety): Basic food safety procedures, including safe food handling, personal hygiene and maintaining hygienic food preparation areas.
  • SITXFSA006 (Participate in safe food handling practices): Practical aspects of safe food handling, such as safe food storage, temperature control, and contamination prevention.

What Happens if You Breach Food Safety Regulations?

While food-borne illnesses often grab the headlines, the legal and reputational consequences of overlooking food safety are also significant, making compliance with Standard 3.2.2A even more pivotal to the success of your food business. There are four major implications to consider when it comes to breaching food safety legislation:

  1. Financial penalties: Fines can be issued for each violation, resulting in significant financial damage if issues aren’t promptly addressed .
  2. Legal prosecution: Severe violations can lead to legal action being taken against your business by the Department of Health.
  3. Temporary business closures: In some cases, businesses may be forced to close until food safety issues are resolved.
  4. Reputational damage: In situations where food safety violations are made public, significant reputational damage can occur, causing customers to take their business elsewhere.

Where Can Serving Staff Take Part in Food Safety Supervisor Training?

Food Safety First offers an online Food Safety Supervisor course that can be completed from anywhere in Australia. Once registered, participants have 24/7 access to course materials for up to 12 months. 

There are no classroom-based activities and the only activity that needs to be completed in person is the Observer Report. This part of the course involves conducting practical tasks such as hand washing while under the observation of a nominated food industry professional (e.g. a coworker).
When Will You Receive Your Food Safety Supervisor Certificate?
Food Safety First students are awarded their Statement of Attainment after successfully completing all assessment activities and submitting their declaration. If you opt for electronic delivery, you’ll receive your certification documents via email within 1-2 business days.

How Long Is a Food Safety Supervisor Certificate Valid For?

The Statement of Attainment you receive from Food Safety First is valid for five years. To avoid breaching Standard 3.2.2A regulations, you must retake the Food Safety Supervisor course before your current document expires.

Need Help Becoming a Certified Food Safety Supervisor?

Acquire the knowledge and expertise you need to excel in the role of Food Safety Supervisor by participating in Food Safety First’s nationally recognised training program. Our government-approved Food Safety Supervisor course meets all the requirements of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.

Enrol with Food Safety First today and take another step towards becoming a certified Food Safety Supervisor. Register today or contact us to discover even more about the Food Safety Supervisor course.

Important Links

Food Safety Supervisor Course (Level 1 & 2)
Food Safety Supervisor Course (Level 2)
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A