An update on Food Safety Requirements

As featured in the latest edition of Bowler Magazine

In Queensland, every Bowls Club that sells meals or unpackaged food under a Food Business Licence is required to have an accessible Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). The responsibility of the FSS is to ensure the safe handling of food within the Club. This is achieved by providing guidance to the staff, continuously reviewing and updating Club procedures, and conducting inspections of both food handling operations and the premises.

When potential hazards are identified, it becomes the duty of the FSS to oversee the management of risks and proactively address or rectify any issues. It is imperative for the Club to ensure that the FSS is capable of fulfilling these responsibilities.

Moreover, the FSS is anticipated to actively participate in the day-to-day operations of the food business and must be reasonably accessible to both food handlers and the relevant local Council.

New Requirements

A new regulation, effective December 2023, mandates that FSS qualifications must be obtained within the last five years, introducing an expiry date where none existed before. Notably, the FSS doesn’t have to be present during shifts but must be reachable. To avoid situations where the FSS is not reachable, it is advisable for Clubs to appoint both a primary and a secondary FSS.

The increased requirements for food handler training are also a recent development. Anyone handling food must undergo food safety training. Accreditation is not mandatory but strongly recommended. A food handler is any individual engaged in various food-related tasks within a Club, including making, cooking, preparing, serving, packing, displaying, and storing food.

Ensuring the ongoing competence of food handlers is crucial, and although there’s no specific timeframe or refresher period stipulated, it is recommended to incorporate regular refresher training sessions throughout the year as a best practice. In the event of inspections and audits by local Council, Clubs might be required to furnish evidence of employee training, such as certificates and training records.

Proposed Training Options

For food handlers at your Club, it is recommended that they undertake the basic food safety unit “Use hygienic practices for food safety”. However, there are also other free online training programs endorsed by enforcement agencies available.

Alternatively, if your Club’s induction/onboarding process already includes food safety training, that suffices. The food handler training should encompass specific skills and knowledge, including:

  1. Understanding of safe food handling;
  2. Strategies for preventing food contamination;
  3. Procedures for sanitation and cleaning; and
  4. Guidelines on personal hygiene.

If you have any questions about the food safety requirements for your Club, then please feel free to contact me on 07 3224 0353. 

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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