The critical services provided by the health and community sector reiterate the need for food safety compliance, especially in settings that prepare or serve food for consumption by vulnerable people such as the sick, the elderly, pregnant women, children and infants. For example, as past incidents have shown, a food-borne illness outbreak at an aged care facility can have devastating consequences.
In Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has established strict legislation to safeguard the health and well-being of consumers. This includes requirements relating to the certification of Food Safety Supervisors in accordance with Standard 3.2.2A.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a detailed look at what’s included in the Food Safety Supervisor course for Health & Community, while also highlighting the importance of professional training for healthcare workers and community service providers.
What Does Standard 3.2.2A Mean for the Health and Community Sector?
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A sets the same overarching food safety guidelines for the health and community industry as it does for Transport & Distribution, Hospitality, Food Processing and Retail.
Significantly, the standard mandates the appointment of a designated Food Safety Supervisor for establishments involved in food preparation, service, or delivery within the sector. Given the unique way in which health and community organisations operate, it’s imperative for individuals to pursue sector-specific training to ensure compliance with regulations.
Within the health and community sector, there are a number of different organisations that fall under the governance of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A. The list includes hospitals, care facilities, correctional facilities, cafeterias, and more.
FSANZ classifies all of the above as Category 1 establishments due to the fact that they prepare and serve food to be consumed in-house, often by vulnerable individuals.
What Is the Purpose of a Food Safety Supervisor?
Food Safety Supervisors in the health and community sector play a pivotal role in the implementation of safe food procedures.
Key responsibilities include monitoring food safety procedures, training and supervising food handlers, maintaining accurate records, establishing Food Safety Plans based on HACCP principles, taking corrective actions, and ensuring overall compliance with food safety legislation.
Who Needs Food Safety Supervisor Training?
The Food Safety Supervisor course for Health & Community is relevant to a range of roles, including healthcare providers, community service workers and support staff. Whether you work in a hospital, care facility, educational institution or other community service setting, completing this course is vital for upholding food safety standards.
What To Expect From the Food Safety Supervisor Course
The Food Safety Supervisor course is a government-approved training program focused on the importance of safe food handling, storage and preparation. The curriculum provides guidance on a variety of food safety practices, topics include:
- Allergen management
- Cleaning and sanitising
- Food contamination
- Food handling and storage
- Food safety laws and regulations
- HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
Participants have 19 lessons to complete as well as a number of assessment activities. This includes lesson quizzes, case studies, a reading activity and the Observer Report.
Students are asked a series of multiple choice questions and have five attempts to achieve a score of 100 percent before moving onto the next lesson.
There are two case studies* to complete as part of the assessment process. After reading each case study, you will be asked a series of multiple choice questions to test your knowledge.
*Participants in New South Wales have three additional case studies to complete. These relate to allergen management, safe egg handling and cleaning and sanitising practices.
The course includes a reading activity on the subject of potentially hazardous foods. This comes in the form of a PDF document that can be downloaded from the student portal. Students are asked to read the document before answering quiz questions relating to its content.
This section is completed in person, as it requires students to demonstrate practical skills such as hand washing while being observed by a fellow food industry professional. The observer must fill out and submit a report to verify that tasks have been carried out in a satisfactory manner.
Units of Competency for Health & Community
When you finish the Food Safety Supervisor course, you are awarded a Statement of Attainment which lists the industry-specific units of competency you have completed. If an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) comes to inspect your establishment, they may request to verify this by reviewing your Statement of Attainment.
What are HLTFSE001, HLTFSE005 and HLTFSE007?
Upon successful completion of the Food Safety Supervisor course for Health & Community, you will be certified in the following units of competency:
- HLTFSE001 (Follow basic food safety practices)
HLTFSE001 outlines the competencies required in order to adhere to personal hygiene standards, uphold food safety measures, maintain cleanliness in food handling areas, and appropriately dispose of food. It applies to food service workers operating under supervision and within specific guidelines.
- HLTFSE005 (Apply and monitor food safety requirements)
HLTFSE005 sets out the fundamental principles of food safety, covering aspects such as personal hygiene, proper food handling, and the significance of sustaining a sanitary food preparation environment.
- HLTFSE007 (Oversee the day-to-day implementation of food safety in the workplace)
HLTFSE007 outlines the knowledge and skills necessary for overseeing the daily execution of the Food Safety Program throughout the entire business. It’s applicable to all individuals responsible for supervising and assisting others in the implementation of the food safety procedures outlined in the food safety plan.
Note: New South Wales and Northern Territory authorities don’t currently accept the units of competency for Health & Community. Students located in these regions must instead obtain units of competency for Hospitality.
Implementing HACCP and Safe Food Storage Practices
The course also provides guidance on implementing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system in daily operations. This systematic approach aids in identifying, assessing, and managing potential hazards in food storage and preparation. The HACCP system consists of the following food safety processes:
- Hazard Analysis
- Critical Control Points (CCPs)
- Critical Limits
- Monitoring Procedures
- Correct Action
- Verification Procedures
In addition to this, the course emphasises the importance of establishing protocols for safe food storage, covering topics such as temperature control, segregation of raw and cooked foods, and accurate labelling.
Applying these methods can help your establishment avoid food spoilage, contamination, and food-borne illnesses. Additionally, thorough food storage practices have the potential to reduce food waste, benefiting both the environment and your bottom line.
Best Practices for Personal Hygiene
Given the vulnerable nature of individuals in the health and community sector, maintaining high personal hygiene standards is paramount. The course emphasises practices such as using protective gear, effective handwashing techniques, and avoiding food handling tasks when sick. These practices not only contribute to safe food handling but also foster trust among those you serve.
How Long Does the Health and Community Food Safety Supervisor Certificate Last?
To comply with FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A, individuals in the health and community sector must obtain a new Statement of Attainment every five years by retaking the Food Safety Supervisor course. This ensures that Food Safety Supervisors stay updated on the latest regulations and best practices that apply to health and community organisations.
Help Keep the Health and Community Sector Safe
With the health and community sector being a cornerstone of public welfare, the responsibility for maintaining food safety extends beyond mere compliance with legislation. Organisations operating in this sector must act ethically to uphold the health and well-being of the individuals they serve.
Whether you run a hospital, aged care facility or school canteen, investing in this training is a crucial step toward ensuring food safety.
Food Safety First (FSF) delivers a specialised Food Safety Supervisor course designed for the health and community sector, ensuring that staff are well-equipped to meet the unique challenges of this vital industry.
Achieve Food Safety Supervisor Certification in 5 Simple Steps
Becoming a certified Food Safety Supervisor is easier than you think. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined below:
1. Visit the FSF Website
Food Safety First is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) authorised by the Australian Government to deliver Food Safety Supervisor training to businesses nationwide.
Select the Food Safety Supervisor course before completing your registration online or over the phone (1300 856 836).
3. Select an Industry
Several industry-specific options are available. Make sure you select Health & Community.
4. Complete All Learning Modules
There are 19 interactive lessons that must be completed along with a variety of assessment activities including quizzes, case studies, a reading activity, and the Observer Report.
5. Receive Your Certificate
After passing your assessment, you'll be awarded a Statement of Attainment outlining the units of competency completed (HLTFSE001, HLTFSE005 and HLTFSE007)
Ready to Get Started?
Enrol into the FSF Food Safety Supervisor course today and take the hassle-free route to certification.
Want to find out more before you register? Get in touch with any questions you may have, the FSF team will be happy to help.