by Andrew Thomson on May 9, 2022
A basic skills training program is critical for the success of any employee to perform their job well. Having an ongoing training program would promote a greater understanding of all aspects of the food business and would send a strong message to your employees and customers that you are committed to doing business better. Leaders, the key is to share your overall business strategy with your employees as this provides a glimpse into your perspective and your intended goals and direction for your food operation.
A well-trained and knowledgeable employee is your best protection for a healthy business and provides your employees with information and skills that allow them to play a greater role. This type of training raises the status of the job, eliminates serious food safety and workplace health and safety incidents and reduces employee turnover as they feel part of something important and are recognised for their contribution. Employees that are not adequately trained cannot be expected to perform at the level that will be required of them. It’s important to remember a solid training program coupled with hands-on supervision reinforces the information.
This is particularly true when it comes to quality food safety training – it is a good prevention program to reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses. A compelling reason for the national food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand in P1053 Food Safety Management Tools proposes mandatory food safety training for food handlers working in food services and food retail businesses as these operations have been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks. This requirement was one of many issues canvassed in the public consultation phase. Other key requirements include:
- FSANZ is seeking a positive food safety culture within food service and retail food businesses.
- Creation of Food Safety Standard 3.2.2A Food Safety Management Tools
- The introduction of a nationally consistent risk classification system for food businesses across Australia.
- The requirement for a food business to have a Food Safety Supervisor to be adopted nationally with an accredited training short course. Currently, this short course is only applicable in Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.
- Records will need to be kept demonstrating that basic food safety controls such as cooking, cold storage and training are in place.
Category 1: Food service businesses, such as caterers (onsite and offsite), restaurants, takeaways and retailers who make and serve Potentially Hazardous Foods. These businesses are associated with the highest food safety risks. Three regulatory measures for food safety management (Food Safety Supervisor, Food Handler Training, and Evidence) are applicable for these food businesses.
Category 2: Retailers of unpackaged ready-to-eat Potentially Hazardous Foods. Two new regulatory food safety management tools (Food Safety Supervisor and Food Handler Training) are applicable here.
Category 3: Retailers of pre-packaged ready-to-eat Potentially Hazardous Food, that remains packaged during the sale fall into this category. No new regulatory measures would be applied to these food businesses.
Already there is a mandatory requirement for aged care providers serving food to vulnerable populations to have a food safety program. This proposal will require any potentially hazardous food served or sold to the public through catered functions, a cafeteria, kiosk and onsite vending machines to incorporate these activities into their existing Food Safety Program.
Food law requirements don’t have to hold you back, they can be a point of difference for your food business.
You and your employees are a team and the overall success of your team reflects on you and your business. A great training program should be for everyone and it should be ongoing. Not only is it an important motivational tool that will reward them with greater employability because of the additional knowledge and skills, but will also create relationships based on respect.
Sourcing a quality and customised training program with minimal upfront costs will yield great savings for you and your food business in the long run. This ongoing training program will not only help meet your needs but will help you achieve your goals within a set budget and timeframe.