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Food Safety Training Tip

by Andrew Thomson on November 15, 2019

Food safety is an issue which has slipped through the cracks of public discourse.

Australian State and Territory Governments introduced the Food Safety Standards into their legislation between 2001 and 2003. A key requirement of Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 relates to the skills and knowledge of food handlers.

The national food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand says food businesses can choose the approach that best suits their business, provided they are confident that their staff have the skills and knowledge needed for the work they do.

Managers of food operations such as health care, aged care facilities and food service businesses are responsible for ensuring food handlers are competent in the tasks they perform. The skills and knowledge requirement was included in the Standards to ensure that employees handle food correctly and that it remains safe to eat.

My colleague Dr Doug Powell says leaving brand protection to government inspectors or auditors is a bad idea.

Best companies will do better.

Managers need to regularly review the competence, capabilities and abilities of food handling employees relative to the skills and qualifications needed by the business for current and future activities.

Any training provided needs to align with the Food Safety Management System and other operational requirements in your food operation.

Good industry practice is to develop a food handler’s critical thinking, with the ability to react to critical control issues, taking corrective measures when necessary, executing standard food safety principles with understanding and not when the health department or accreditation assessors are present.

Show me what you do to keep people from barfing says Powell.

Key takeaway message…..

Food handlers need to know:

•            what to do;

•            how to do it;

•            why it’s important;

•            what corrective actions to take when required.

Can We Help?

We help foodservice businesses such as hospitals, aged care facilities, catering and hotel operations improve food safety. We provide a consultancy service, training advice and strategies to suit your requirements.

 Contact Andrew Thomson on 0422285720 or

Dr Douglas Powell is a former professor of food safety for 17 years at Guelph and subsequently Kansas State University, Powell has published 70 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and a book.