The hospitality industry is as much about drinks as it is food, with the line between the two becoming more blurred in recent years. Although bars and cafes are predominantly engaged in the serving of drinks, they still come into contact with high-risk products, especially as these establishments continue to develop their food offering to cater to the evolving demands of Australian consumers.
Baristas, who are often the frontline in serving coffee and fresh food items like sandwiches, cakes, and pastries, need to be especially vigilant. Fresh milk, a staple in coffee shops, poses a significant risk if not handled correctly. It's a highly perishable product and a breeding ground for bacteria if not stored at the right temperature. The same goes for food items like sandwiches and cakes, which often contain dairy, eggs, and other ingredients that can spoil quickly.
Cross-contamination is another concern, especially in busy coffee shops where the preparation space is limited. Using the same equipment or surfaces for different food items without proper cleaning and sanitising can lead to the spread of harmful pathogens.
Bartenders face similar risks, particularly when dealing with raw ingredients like egg whites, which are used in many classic cocktails. Egg whites can harbour Salmonella, a bacteria that can cause severe illness if consumed. Similarly, fresh fruits and vegetables used in drinks, if not washed properly, can be a source of contaminants.
Although often overlooked, ice can also be a carrier of potentially dangerous pathogens. It's not just about the ice itself, but how it's handled. Using the same scoop or hands for ice and other ingredients can lead to cross-contamination.
All of the considerations above place significant responsibility on bartenders and baristas when it comes to food safety compliance. With increasing numbers of drink serving staff coming into contact with high-risk foods, the need for professional food safety training is more apparent than ever.
This blog will focus on the requirement for Food Safety Supervisor training, exploring its specific relevance to baristas and bartenders. Read on to see what you can expect from the Food Safety Supervisor course and prepare yourself for enrolment.
Why Do Drink Makers Need Food Safety Training?
Much like chefs, kitchen hands and other food handling staff in the hospitality sector, bartenders and baristas are governed by the food safety regulations established by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
The introduction of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A is particularly significant due to the training requirements it imposes on businesses. The two areas concerned are food handling and food safety supervision, both of which can be applicable to bartenders and baristas.
In addition to the food safety laws set by FSANZ, bartenders also have a duty to meet the safety guidelines imposed by Australian alcohol service legislation. This requires them to hold a valid Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate which can be obtained through the RSA training program.
What Are the Food Safety Responsibilities of Bartenders and Baristas?
Depending on their level of seniority and involvement with food handling activities, bartenders and baristas may be required to take responsibility for one or more of the following pillars of food safety compliance:
1. Food Handling
Baristas and bartenders match the definition of a Food Handler due to the fact that they serve beverages and unpackaged food items, some of which require specific temperature control and storage procedures. These individuals are also responsible for contamination control, through the effective cleaning and sanitising of tables, food preparation surfaces, utensils and equipment.
Standard 3.2.2A mandates that individuals involved in any aspect of food preparation or service must participate in a government-approved Food Handler training program. The aim of this is to ensure that staff understand the dangers of improper food handling and the proactive actions required to avoid them.
Legislation also dictates that Category 1 businesses engaged in high-risk food preparation must maintain up-to-date records concerning food safety incidents and procedures.
In some cases, record management tasks will be assigned to a barista or bartender. When taking on this responsibility, these individuals must establish a proactive record-keeping system that aids transparency and accountability.
3. Food Safety Supervision
A major requirement of Standard 3.2.2A is the mandatory appointment of a certified Food Safety Supervisor in establishments where food is prepared, handled and served to consumers. This is another position that may be assigned to a barista or bartender.
To conduct this role effectively, the nominated individual must first complete a Food Safety Supervisor course with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This training is designed to ensure that they’re able to identify improper food handling procedures and correct them before any potential harm is caused to consumers.
In summary, the Food Safety Supervisor course prepares bartenders and baristas for conducting the following duties:
- Developing and implementing a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.
- Liaising with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) where required.
- Maintaining accurate records relating to food safety procedures.
- Taking corrective actions when food safety issues arise.
- Training and supervising food handling staff.
Can a Bartender or Barista Be a Food Safety Supervisor?
Bartenders and baristas that possess the following knowledge and skills will generally be a good match for the Food Safety Supervisor position:
1. Commitment to Compliance
Food Safety Supervisors need to recognise the significance of adhering to legal requirements. A commitment to food safety plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of consumers.
2. Communication Skills
Delivering clear and concise guidance to food handling staff is critical to the success of a Food Safety Program. Supervisors should feel comfortable providing instructions, giving/receiving feedback and addressing queries concerning food safety.
3. Food Safety Knowledge
An existing knowledge of food safety protocols such as allergen management, contamination prevention, cleaning and sanitising will provide a foundation for the techniques taught during Food Safety Supervisor training.
4. Leadership Skills
Another critical aspect of a Food Safety Supervisor's role is spearheading the implementation of the Food Safety Program. This involves being a mentor for Food Handlers and acting as the primary contact for food safety inquiries, both internally and externally. Effective leadership skills are a must-have.
5. Practical Application
Successful Food Safety Supervisors have the ability to apply food safety knowledge to the real world. The Food Safety Supervisor course enhances the development of this skill through case studies and Observer Report activities, where practical skills are assessed in the context of real-life situations.
It's important to understand that even individuals who possess the skills and expertise outlined above will require professional Food Safety Supervisor training to satisfy the certification requirements of Standard 3.2.2A.
What Topics Does the Food Safety Supervisor Course Cover?
Food Safety First delivers an interactive Food Safety Supervisor course that is aligned to government requirements throughout Australia. The curriculum is designed to give participants all the knowledge and skills they need to successfully implement and monitor food safety procedures within their workplace. Key topics include:
- Identifying Food Safety Hazards
- Cleaning & Sanitising
- Biological Contamination
- Serving Food Safely
- Reporting, Investigating & Recording Food Safety Breaches
- Food Safety Management
- Hand Washing
- Time & Temperature Control
- Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
- Allergen Management
All of the above are covered as part of the interactive lessons included in the Food Safety Supervisor course.
What Units of Competency Are Required to Be a Food Safety Supervisor in Hospitality?
Cafes, coffee shops and bars that serve food to be consumed in-house are classified as Category 1 businesses within the hospitality sector. Consequently, baristas and bartenders taking on the role of Food Safety Supervisor must complete the following units of competency in order to become certified:
- SITXFSA005 (Use hygienic practices for food safety)
- SITXFSA006 (Participate in safe food handling practices)
What Do You Need to Do to Pass the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
The assessment process for the Food Safety Supervisor course features four key elements designed to verify student knowledge and understanding:
1. Lesson Quizzes
After each lesson, a series of multiple choice questions must be answered correctly in order to progress to the next section of the course. Students have five attempts to achieve a score of 100 percent.
2. Case Studies
The assessment process includes two case studies* designed to test a student’s ability to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. Each case study is accompanied by several multiple choice questions based on its content.
*Students in New South Wales are required to complete three additional case studies (cleaning and sanitising, allergen management and safe egg handling practices).
3. Reading Activity
The reading activity segment addresses the topic of potentially hazardous foods. To complete this assignment, participants need to download a PDF document, thoroughly review its content, and answer a set of multiple choice questions.
4. Observer Report
The Observer Report is the only section of the course that isn't completed online. It requires participants to conduct practical tasks such as hand washing in front of a nominated observer (usually a coworker). The observer then submits a report verifying the satisfactory completion of tasks.
The Food Safety Supervisor course for Hospitality covers the following aspects of food safety within the Observer Report assessment:
- Food preparation
- Food monitoring
- Food display practices
- Receiving goods
- Safe food handling
- Safe food storage
What Do You Get for Passing the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
Upon successful completion of the Food Safety Supervisor course, participants receive a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment. This official certification outlines the units of competency achieved and serves as evidence of compliance if requested by an Environmental Health Officer during a routine inspection.
The Statement of Attainment remains valid for five years and must be renewed before expiration to maintain certification, as mandated by Standard 3.2.2A.
What Are the Main Benefits of Food Safety Supervisor Training?
The Food Safety Supervisor course brings benefits to businesses, employees and consumers alike. Here are three key reasons for participating:
1. Reduced Risk
An enhanced understanding of food safety can help mitigate the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses.
2. Legal Compliance
The appointment of certified Food Safety Supervisor ensures compliance with FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.
3. Business Reputation
Consumers are more likely to trust a business that is seen to be fulfilling its legal and moral responsibilities through the implementation of robust food safety procedures.
Start the Certification Process Today
If you’re a barista or bartender that has been nominated as the designated Food Safety Supervisor for your establishment, then you need certification. The Food Safety Supervisor course not only enhances food safety knowledge and expertise, but it also ensures compliance with Standard 3.2.2A. Register today to secure your place and obtain certification in a matter of hours.
Need more info before enrolling? Contact us to discover all the advantages our online learning platform has to offer.