Nearly 78,000 people are currently employed by the catering services industry in Australia, making the sector’s commitment to food safety a significant one.
No matter how large or small your catering operation is, you must comply with the relevant food safety regulations imposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Training has an important role to play in this, but it can be difficult to know which route to go down in terms of educating staff.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the importance of the Food Safety Supervisor course for caterers, summarising the course curriculum, its significance to the catering services industry and the legal requirements necessitating its existence.
Before we take a closer look at the training program, let’s define the role of a Food Safety Supervisor in the catering sector.
What Is the Role of a Catering Food Safety Supervisor?
Food Safety Supervisors working in the catering services industry are required to oversee the preparation, handling and service of food throughout their business.
What Does a Catering Food Safety Supervisor Do?
As well as monitoring food safety procedures on a daily basis, Food Safety Supervisors will train and supervise catering staff to ensure safe food handling practices are followed in accordance with food safety legislation.
It’s also their responsibility to take corrective actions when issues arise and maintain accurate records relating to food safety procedures. Another task they must undertake is the development and implementation of a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.
Food Safety Supervisors should make themselves available to deal with all internal and external food safety matters. This typically involves liaising with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and answering any questions food handling staff may have regarding food safety.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Catering Food Safety Supervisor?
There are 6 key traits a Food Safety Supervisor needs to display if they are to be successful in upholding food safety standards in a catering environment.
1. Leadership Qualities
The role of a Food Safety Supervisor goes beyond qualifications; they also have a responsibility to mentor Food Handlers, ensure compliance, and monitor implementation of the Food Safety Program all while being the primary contact for food safety inquiries. Leadership skills are a must.
2. Commitment to Compliance
Food Safety Supervisors must understand the importance of regulatory compliance. A commitment to food safety requirements is integral to maintaining responsible business practices such as protecting the health and well-being of customers through the implementation of a robust Food Safety Program.
3. Communication Skills
Food Safety Supervisors provide guidance and support to Food Handlers on a daily basis, making effective communication skills essential. They should be able to communicate information clearly and ensure that all food handling staff adhere to food safety protocols.
4. Food Safety Knowledge
Knowledge and expertise must be acquired in the context of key food safety procedures such as allergen management, food contamination, cleaning and sanitising. A Food Safety Supervisor can become skilled in these areas by undergoing professional training that covers a variety of essential topics ranging from food safety legislation to risk management.
5. Practical Application
The ability to apply knowledge and expertise in real-life situations is especially important. The Food Safety Supervisor course includes case studies and an Observer Report section, where practical skills are assessed.
6. Commitment to Continuous Learning
Food safety requirements are constantly evolving, and Food Safety Supervisors have a duty to stay informed regarding any legislation changes. This can be achieved through continuous learning and staying up-to-date with industry best practices.
What Are the Food Safety Training Rules for Catering?
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A sets the same overarching food safety regulations for caterers as it does for food truck operators, cafe supervisors and chefs.
One of the most significant aspects of this newly established legislation is the requirement for designated Food Safety Supervisors. In order to comply with Standard 3.2.2A, all businesses engaged in the preparation, service or delivery of food must appoint a certified Food Safety Supervisor.
To obtain certification, catering personnel must successfully complete a government-approved Food Safety Supervisor training program.
What Does Food Safety Supervisor Training Include?
Food Safety Supervisor training is designed to give individuals the knowledge and skills required to successfully implement and monitor food safety procedures throughout their workplace.
Food Safety First delivers a nationally recognised course featuring covering the following topics:
- Identifying Food Safety Hazards
- Illness & Onsite Injuries
- Time & Temperature Control
- Serving Food Safely
- Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
- Cleaning & Sanitising
- Working with Food Safely
- Receiving & Storing Food
- Reporting, Investigating & Recording Food Safety Breaches
- Monitoring, Controlling & Correcting Food Safety Hazards
- Food Contamination & High-Risk Groups
- Food Safety Programs
- Maintaining Food Premises
- Other Types of Contamination
- Hand Washing
- Biological Contamination
- Allergen Management
- Food Safety Management
- Food Safety Laws & Responsibilities
There are also several assessment activities that must be completed in order to pass the course:
- Case studies
- Lesson quizzes
- Reading activity
- Observer Report
What Is a Unit of Competency?
A unit of competency is a standardised skill or knowledge requirement that relates to a particular food safety activity or function. Units of competency are part of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and are used to define the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for specific skills or competencies.
Which Units of Competency Apply to Caterers?
Caterers operate in various business sectors and the units of competency that apply may vary depending on the official classification of your workplace. Here are some units that may be applicable.
The Food Safety Supervisor course for Retail focuses one fundamental unit of competency:
- SIRRFSA001 (Handle food safely in a retail environment): Outlines the requirements for cleaning and sanitising, safe food storage and hygienic food handling.
Two specific units of competency must be completed in order to become a certified Food Safety Supervisor in the hospitality industry:
- SITXFSA005 (Use hygienic practices for food safety): Covers basic food safety practices, including personal hygiene, safe food handling, and maintaining clean and hygienic food preparation areas.
- SITXFSA006 (Participate in safe food handling practices): Concentrates on the practical elements of safe food handling, including food storage, temperature control, and contamination prevention.
Health & Community
After completing the Food Safety Supervisor course for Health & Community, participants will be awarded three units of competency:
- HLTFSE001 (Follow basic food safety practices): Stipulates the actions required to maintain personal hygiene standards, food safety measures, cleanliness and food disposal. It is applicable to all food service staff working under supervision and within specified guidelines.
- HLTFSE005 (Apply and monitor food safety requirements): Outlines the critical principles of food safety, providing guidance in relation to personal hygiene, food handling, cleaning and sanitising..
- HLTFSE007 (Oversee the day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace): Encompasses the knowledge and skills required for monitoring the implementation of the Food Safety Program. It applies to all individuals involved in the supervision and support of staff who execute the food safety procedures set out by the food safety plan.
What Are the Main Benefits of the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
Food Safety Supervisor certification benefits businesses and individuals alike. Here are four reasons why caterers should take part in a nationally recognised training course:
1. Legal Compliance
The course ensures that your organisation is compliant with FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.
2. Reduced Risks
Enhanced food safety knowledge and expertise can help reduce the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses.
3. Consumer Confidence
Customers are more likely to trust a food establishment that employs certified Food Safety Supervisors.
4. Professional Development
Training facilitates continuous improvement among team members.
How Often Do You Need to Retake the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
Upon successful completion of the Food Safety Supervisor course, you will be issued a Statement of Attainment detailing the units of competency achieved. This certification remains valid for a period of five years and must be renewed before it expires to prevent any penalties associated with non-compliance to Standard 3.2.2A.
Where Does Food Safety Supervisor Training Take Place?
Food Safety First delivers training in an online environment, making it accessible from anywhere in Australia. Students that register for the Food Safety Supervisor course have 24/7 access via an exclusive online portal where they can find a range of learning materials, including lessons, case studies and assessment activities.
Participants have 12 months in which to finish the course which takes approximately eight hours to complete.
No classroom time is required and the only in-person activity is the Observer Report. This part of the course involves a practical task (e.g. hand washing) being carried out under the observation of a fellow food industry professional.
It’s Certification Time
Whether you serve food in a canteen or deliver to local businesses, your catering company needs to stay up to date with food safety training. Without a certified Food Safety Supervisor in place, your business could end up in violation of Standard 3.2.2A.
Register for the FSF Food Safety Supervisor course today and take a step closer to certification.
Want to learn more before registering? Get in touch and discover all that Food Safety First has to offer.