A food safety program is a documented system that helps businesses to:
identify food safety hazards
details control measures for these hazards
provide systematic monitoring of food safety hazards
if followed properly, it will help ensure food for sale is safe.
Do I need a food safety program?
Certain licensed food businesses are required to have a food safety program (FSP) under the Food Act 2006 these include:
child care centre
aged care centre
Meals on Wheels
Examples of food businesses that require a food safety program:
a spit roast catering company partially prepares food at one place (their principal place of business), then finishes preparations and serves potentially hazardous food at an event or function site (e.g. in a park, private property, hired hall)
a function centre prepares and services potentially hazardous food, mostly wedding receptions, but also has a small restaurant. The primary activity is catering for functions
a restaurant in a hotel has an additional dining room with extra seating. The room is used mostly for catered functions separate to the rest of the business. Catering is provided on average to 200 to 300 people each fortnight
a childcare centre provides morning tea, cooked lunches and afternoon tea to the children at the centre each day.
How to develop a food safety program
The completed program needs to identify, control and monitor food safety hazards. You can develop a custom-made food safety program tailored to your business or use a suitable template.
Queensland Health has food safety program templates for catering, private hospitals, child care and aged care that can be used as a guide. For more information, please visit the Queensland Health website.
You can submit your application in person at our customer service centres, by post or email, please see connect with us for details.
Remember to include the following with your application:
a copy of the food safety program document
written advice from an approved auditor to confirm the program is suitable.
Once accredited, Council will return the plan to you with an approval stamp. Keep the stamped food safety program document at your food premises.
Reviews of the food safety program
You need to conduct internal reviews of your accredited food safety program monthly and / or annually using the checklist provided in your food safety program.
Minor changes to your food safety program can be noted on your amendment sheet or annual review, e.g. updating record sheets.
You will need to apply to Council for an amendment of your food safety program if you change the way food is being handled, e.g. start cooking food rather than just reheating food, and this is not listed in your current food safety program.
Can I transfer my food safety program?
If your business is sold, the accredited food safety program may be transferred to the new business owner. The new owners need to apply for a transfer of the food safety program when they apply for their food licence.
Audits of food safety programs
Regular audits of the food safety program will need to be done to show that you are following the processes outlined in the program and keeping your records up to date.
The first compliance audit needs to be done within six months of your accreditation.
The audit frequency will be every six or twelve months after that, depending on what you have been advised.
The auditor will provide you with a written report and also send us a copy. You need to keep audit reports for four years.
For more information, please call us on 07 3412 3412.