The Australian hospitality industry continues to bounce back from the pandemic-related disruption of previous years, with thousands of chefs joining the sector as businesses look to capitalise on a renewed appetite for eating out. By 2024, it’s estimated that there will be approximately 117,000 chefs employed throughout Australia – that’s 15 percent more than there were in 2019.
Chefs are a critical component of the hospitality industry, preparing meals for all occasions including weddings, parties, conferences and more. Whether it’s a casual bite to eat or gourmet dining experience, chefs are responsible for ensuring that the food they serve is safe as well as delicious.
In Australia, chefs don’t just have a moral obligation to prepare, handle and serve food in a safe and hygienic manner; they have a legal obligation to do so too. This means adhering to the various food safety regulations imposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), including Standard 3.2.2A.
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A is strictly enforced, so businesses must ensure that they are capable of overseeing the successful implementation of required food safety procedures, or face the prospect of non-compliance penalties. This is where the Food Safety Supervisor course for Hospitality comes into effect.
This blog will guide you through the key elements of the Food Safety Supervisor course, emphasising its significance for chefs in the hospitality industry.
What Food Safety Practices Are Required in the Work of a Chef?
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A dictates the food safety requirements for chefs the same way it does for kitchen hands, cafe supervisors and food truck operators. The legislation focuses on three core activities – food handling, food safety supervision and record management.
One of the most impactful requirements of Standard 3.2.2A is the mandatory appointment of a certified Food Safety Supervisor for all businesses engaged in food preparation, service or distribution.
What does Standard 3.2.2A Mean for Chefs?
Standard 3.2.2A applies to all hospitality businesses where food is prepared and served for consumption on the premises. Examples include:
- Nightclubs and bars
- Conference facilities
- Fast food outlets
FSANZ classifies all of the above as Category 1 businesses based on the potential food safety risk they present to consumers. If you are a chef at one of these establishments and are nominated as the designated Food Safety Supervisor you are legally required to obtain certification through a government-approved Food Safety Supervisor course.
What Does a Food Safety Supervisor Do?
Food Safety Supervisors working in the hospitality sector are responsible for ensuring that food handling staff follow the relevant safety procedures at all times.
- Training and supervising kitchen staff.
- Developing and implementing a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.
- Taking corrective actions when food safety issues arise.
- Maintaining accurate records relating to food safety procedures.
- Liaising with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) where required.
Does a Chef Make a Good Food Safety Supervisor?
Given the authority and level of responsibility they possess in commercial kitchens, chefs usually rank highly among the candidates for the Food Safety Supervisor role.
Key characteristics that might make a chef suitable include:
1. Knowledge of Food Safety
Most chefs already have a deep understanding of food safety practices, including proper food handling, storage, and hygiene.
2. Experience in Kitchen Management
Managing a kitchen requires organisational skills and attention to detail, which can be beneficial when overseeing food safety protocols.
3. Leadership Skills
Chefs are typically responsible for overseeing a team of kitchen staff, and these leadership skills can translate well into managing and enforcing food safety procedures.
4. Familiarity With Regulations
Many chefs are familiar with local health and safety regulations due to the nature of their work, which can be advantageous in a Food Safety Supervisor role.
5. Communication Skills
Effective communication is essential in commercial kitchens, and most chefs are already accomplished at building solid working relationships with fellow kitchen staff. Being confident enough to give precise instructions to other team members is invaluable when overseeing food safety procedures.
It’s important to note that being a chef doesn't automatically make someone a food safety expert. A Food Safety Supervisor needs to have a comprehensive understanding of food safety regulations, documentation, and risk management. In Australia, a Food Safety Supervisor course must be completed in order to obtain the relevant certification.
Although a chef's background provides a foundation for understanding food safety, additional training and knowledge specific to food safety regulations and compliance are also necessary for an individual to excel in a Food Safety Supervisor role.
How Do Chefs Become Qualified Food Safety Supervisors?
To become a certified Food Safety Supervisor, chefs in Australia must successfully complete a Food Safety Supervisor course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
Food Safety First provides a comprehensive online training program that is designed to develop and verify the knowledge and skills chefs require in order to successfully implement and monitor food safety practices in a commercial kitchen.
The Food Safety Supervisor course includes 19 interactive lessons, each of which is followed by a multiple choice quiz. Participants learn about the following:
- Time & Temperature Control
- Reporting, Investigating & Recording Food Safety Breaches
- Food Safety Laws & Responsibilities
- Working with Food Safely
- Hand Washing
- Serving Food Safely
- Identifying Food Safety Hazards
- Illness & Onsite Injuries
- Food Contamination & High-Risk Groups
- Maintaining Food Premises
- Monitoring, Controlling & Correcting Food Safety Hazards
- Allergen Management
- Cleaning & Sanitising
- Biological Contamination
- Other Types of Contamination
- Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
- Food Safety Management
- Receiving & Storing Food
- Food Safety Programs
The assessment process consists of four activity types designed to verify student knowledge:
- Reading activity
- Observer Report
- Lesson quizzes
- Case studies
What Do You Get When You Pass the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
After successfully completing each lesson and assessment activity you will be awarded a Statement of Attainment. This document acts as your official certification and outlines the units of competency obtained during the course.
A Statement of Attainment is valid for five years from the date of issue and must be renewed every five years to maintain certification in accordance with Standard 3.2.2A.
What Are Units of Competency?
In order to establish a standard level of knowledge and expertise, food safety legislation utilises units of competency as defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). These are then incorporated into assessment activities so that student capabilities can be verified universally.
Which Units of Competency Do Chefs Need to Complete?
Chefs predominantly operate in the hospitality industry. The following units of competency are required in order to become a certified Food Safety Supervisor in this sector:
SITXFSA005 (Use hygienic practices for food safety)
This unit covers fundamental food safety practices, including personal hygiene, safe food handling, and maintaining clean and hygienic food preparation areas.
SITXFSA006 (Participate in safe food handling practices)
This unit focuses on the practical elements of safe food handling, including temperature control, food storage, and contamination prevention.
How Does the Food Safety Supervisor Course Benefit Businesses?
A nationally recognised Food Safety Supervisor course can unlock several benefits, including the following:
1. Legal Compliance
Employing a certified Food Safety Supervisor helps organisations meet the legal requirements outlined in FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.
2. Effective Risk Management
Improving the food safety knowledge and expertise of staff members can help prevent incidents of contamination and food-borne illnesses.
3. Enhanced Business Reputation
The public has better perceptions of businesses that take food safety seriously.
4. Knowledge Sharing
Training empowers Food Safety Supervisors to improve the food safety knowledge of others as well as their own.
Where Can Chefs Do the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
Food Safety First delivers an online training program that can be completed from any location at any time. Once registered, you will be given 24/7 access to course content for up to 12 months. No classroom-based activities are required, and the interactive lessons and assessment tasks typically take around eight hours to complete.
The only in-person element of the course is the Observer Report which requires practical tasks such as hand washing to be assessed by a food industry professional.
Ready to Become a Certified Food Safety Supervisor?
Whether you work in a restaurant, hotel, or conference centre, you can bolster your skills and become a certified Food Safety Supervisor by completing Food Safety First’s government-approved training program.
The Food Safety Supervisor course is suitable for all hospitality personnel, covering industry-specific units of competency as part of an extensive curriculum that guarantees compliance with Standard 3.2.2A.
Enrol in the Food Safety Supervisor course today to safeguard the wellbeing of your customers and the reputation of your business.
Looking for expert advice regarding Food Safety Supervisor certification? Get in touch with the FSF team and discover more reasons to enrol.