A food safety program is a written document that shows how a business is managing the safety of the food prepared, served, manufactured or sold. All Victorian Class 1 and 2 food premises are required to have a food safety program before they commence their business.
Large industry associations or franchises may have developed their own specific food safety programs. For more information on appropriate food safety program template for your business you can visit the Department of Health – Food Safety website.
Independent Food Safety Programs
There are food premises that due to the nature of the food processes involved, they develop their own customised food safety program. The majority of components in the program will be the same as a generic food safety program; however the level of detail is greater in independent programs. Your business may need to have an individual food safety program prepared for you.
If you do choose to use an independent food safety program you must undergo a third party audit, at the cost of your business. For more information on independent food safety programs go to the Food Safety Victoria website.
Food Safety Guide
Class 3 food premises are required to have a Food Safety Guide at your premises.
Food Safety Supervisor
Every Class 1 and 2 food business are required to nominate a food safety supervisor to Councils Environmental Health Unit. This person is responsible for the implementation of the food safety program within the food business. Each business needs to provide to Council’s Environmental Health Unit the name and qualifications of the food safety supervisor.
It is the responsibility of the food business to notify Council in writing within 14 days of any changes to the food safety program or supervisor.
It is important that the food safety supervisor implements the food safety processes into the business as well as ensuring that staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in terms of food hygiene and completing record sheets. It is recommended that all staff look at the Department of Health’s food safety interactive website for the correct food safety practices at DoFoodSafely.
DoFoodSafely is a free interactive food handlers program ideal for anyone working in the food industry.
Some people can be sensitive to particular foods such as nuts, shellfish, milk, egg, soy products and cereals.
A food allergy is an immune response compared to a food intolerance which is a chemical reaction happening within the body where the body cannot properly digest or fully process certain ingredients. Food intolerances are much more common than food allergies.
Some people might have a reaction to food containing allergens. While people’s reactions are different, they can be life threatening and some people can severe food allergies to even the smallest trace amount of certain foods.
Foods that contain allergens or cause intolerances include:
Cereals containing gluten and their products, i.e. wheat, rye, barley and oats.
Shellfish, crustaceans and their products
Eggs and egg products
Fish and fish products
Milk and milk products
Peanuts and soybeans and their products
Added sulphites in concentration of 10mg/kg or more
Tree nuts and sesame sees and their products
What your business can do
Victorian food laws require that businesses comply with the Food Standards Code in relation to allergens. You must be able to understand and implement the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code Part 1.2, Application of Labelling and Other Information Requirements. Refer to 1.2.3, Mandatory Warning and Advisory Statements and Declarations for information on allergens.
The Food Standards Code requires that the presence in a food of any product must be declared: when present as an ingredient, an ingredient of a compound ingredient, a food additive or component of a food additive or a processing aid or component of a processing aid.