There are more than 138,000 kitchen hands employed across Australia, emphasising the huge influence this food handling role can have on the effective implementation of food safety protocols throughout the industry.
Kitchen hands play a critical role within commercial kitchens, often taking care of cleaning and sanitising procedures as well as numerous food preparation tasks. Their consistent involvement in such activities can make them good candidates for the Food Safety Supervisor position.
In Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Standard 3.2.2A mandates the appointment of a certified Food Safety Supervisor in all establishments where food is prepared, handled and served to consumers.
The enforcement of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A is strict, putting pressure on businesses to ensure that designated Food Safety Supervisors obtain the knowledge and expertise required to implement and monitor food safety procedures throughout the workplace. The Food Safety Supervisor course is an essential step towards achieving compliance.
In this blog, we’ll answer some common questions about the Food Safety Supervisor course, with an emphasis on how it applies to kitchen hands in the hospitality sector.
What Does a Kitchen Hand Need to Learn About Food Safety?
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A sets the same food safety requirements for kitchen hands as it does for chefs, cafe supervisors and food truck operators. It focuses on three key areas of food safety implementation:
- Food handling
- Food safety supervision
- Record management
In addition to the food safety procedures taught in the Food Handler course, kitchen hands may be required to develop their knowledge and skills in order to carry out a supervisory role in their workplace.
Food Safety Supervision
Food Safety Supervisor training empowers kitchen hands to carry out the following duties to the required standard:
- Training and supervising food handling staff.
- Development and implementation of a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.
- Monitoring of food safety procedures.
- Taking corrective actions to overcome food safety issues.
- Ensuring compliance with food safety legislation.
- Maintaining accurate records in relation to food safety policies and procedures.
Can a Kitchen Hand Be a Food Safety Supervisor?
The Food Safety Supervisor role is well suited to kitchen hands due to the level of involvement they have in the preparation and handling of food on a daily basis.
Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Cleaning and sanitising kitchen equipment and food preparation areas.
- Cleaning and sanitising kitchen utensils.
- Transferring, weighing and checking supplies and equipment.
- Assembling and preparing ingredients for cooking.
- Cooking and reheating basic food items.
Pre-existing Knowledge and Skills
Generally speaking, kitchen hands will already possess some of the knowledge and skills required for overseeing food safety in a commercial kitchen:
- Commercial kitchen experience: Working in a commercial kitchen requires organisational skills and attention to detail, which can be beneficial when tasked with overseeing the implementation of food safety procedures throughout the workplace.
- General food safety knowledge: Most kitchen hands already have a comprehensive understanding of food safety practices, including cleaning and sanitising, personal hygiene, proper food handling and safe food storage.
- Understanding of food safety legislation: Due to the nature of their work, most kitchen hands will already be familiar with the relevant food safety laws and regulations, making it easier for them to incorporate legal requirements into their Food Safety Program.
- Communication skills: Effective communication is essential in a bustling kitchen environment and it’s a skill that kitchen hands get to practise on a daily basis. Doing so provides the skill and confidence required in order to successfully deliver food safety instructions to busy coworkers.
It’s important to note that being a kitchen hand doesn't automatically qualify someone as a food safety expert. A Food Safety Supervisor needs to have a broad understanding of food safety regulations, documentation, and risk management – something that can only be achieved through professional Food Safety Supervisor training.
How Do Kitchen Hands Get a Food Safety Supervisor Certificate?
To become a certified Food Safety Supervisor, kitchen hands in Australia must participate in a Food Safety Supervisor course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) such as Food Safety First.
After successfully completing the Food Safety Supervisor course, Food Safety First students are awarded a Statement of Attainment. This document acts as proof of certification and should be retained in case an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) requests to see it during a routine inspection of your establishment.
What Are the Kitchen Hand Training Requirements?
In the context of becoming a certified Food Safety Supervisor, training is tailored to specific sectors within the food industry. This is done by incorporating the standardised units of competency defined by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Kitchen hands predominantly work in cafes, restaurants, hotels and conference centres. Consequently, these individuals will typically complete the hospitality units of competency as part of the Food Safety Supervisor course:
- SITXFSA005 (Use hygienic practices for food safety): This unit covers fundamental food safety practices, including personal hygiene, safe food handling, and maintaining 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, safe food storage, and contamination risk management.
These units of competency are listed on the Statement of Attainment that students receive after successfully completing the Food Safety Supervisor course.
What Do You Learn During the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
Food Safety First delivers an online training program that equips kitchen hands with the comprehensive knowledge and skills required to implement and monitor food safety procedures in a commercial kitchen. Several key topics are covered as part of the Food Safety First curriculum, including:
- Identifying Food Safety Hazards
- Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
- Reporting, Investigating & Recording Food Safety Breaches
- Serving Food Safely
- Allergen Management
- Food Safety Laws & Responsibilities
- Food Contamination & High-Risk Groups
- Cleaning & Sanitising
- Working with Food Safely
- Monitoring, Controlling & Correcting Food Safety Hazards
- Receiving & Storing Food
- Time & Temperature Control
- Personal Hygiene & Workplace Behaviour
- Food Safety Management
- Receiving & Storing Food
Does the Food Safety Supervisor Course Include A Written Test?
Instead of a written exam, participants are given a variety of assessment activities to complete including lesson quizzes, case studies, a reading activity and the Observer Report.
The is a multiple choice quiz at the end of each learning module and case study; students have five attempts to score 100 per cent. The reading activity is also accompanied by a series of multiple choice questions.
There is also an Observer Report that must be completed. This is the only hands-on element of the course and it’s designed to test a student’s capabilities in a real-life situation. To pass this section, individuals must carry out practical tasks such as hand washing in front of a nominated person (observer).
When Do You Get Your Food Safety Supervisor Certificate?
Food Safety First students are awarded their Statement of Attainment after successfully passing all the assessment activities and submitting their declaration. This certification document can be sent electronically via email and individuals typically receive this within 1-2 business days.
How Long Is a Food Safety Supervisor Certificate Valid For?
Food Safety Supervisor certification expires after five years. Kitchen hands must renew their Statement of Attainment ahead of its expiry date to maintain their status as a certified Food Safety Supervisor and ensure compliance with FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.
How Does Food Safety Supervisor Training Benefit Businesses?
There are several direct and indirect benefits associated with the Food Safety Supervisor course, including the following:
- Knowledge sharing: Food Safety Supervisors are empowered to enhance the food safety knowledge of fellow team members.
- Reduced risk: A better understanding of food safety procedures helps businesses prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses.
- Legal compliance: Food Safety Supervisor certification brings businesses in line with the legal requirements outlined by FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A.
- Enhanced business reputation: A methodical approach to food safety can boost trust and loyalty among consumers.
Where Can Kitchen Hands Participate in the Food Safety Supervisor Course?
The online training program offered by Food Safety First allows participants to complete the course remotely from any location and at any time. Upon registration, individuals receive 24/7 access to course content for a period of up to 12 months.
The course can be completed exclusively online with the exception of the Observer Report which involves completing practical tasks in the workplace while under the observation of a colleague.
Interested In Becoming a Certified Food Safety Supervisor?
Enhance your food safety knowledge and skills and become the designated Food Safety Supervisor for your organisation by completing Food Safety First’s government-approved training program.
The Food Safety Supervisor course is nationally recognised and meets all the requirements set out by Standard 3.2.2A, guaranteeing regulatory compliance throughout Australia. Enrol today to protect your customers and your reputation.
Need expert advice? Contact us and discover more reasons to enrol in the Food Safety Supervisor course.