As the December 8 deadline looms, the Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS) urges all food businesses to prioritise compliance with soon-to-be-enforced food safety legislation. The consequences of non-compliance with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Standard 3.2.2A should not be underestimated. As we countdown to enforcement, businesses should ensure they understand and meet the regulatory requirements.
What Are the Requirements of FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A?
FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A signifies a pivotal moment in Australian food safety, establishing a comprehensive framework for food preparation, service, and delivery businesses. The new regulations introduce three key pillars of compliance that businesses must address to ensure compliance:
1. Food Handlers
Ensuring that all employees involved in food handling undergo specific training is foundational for compliance. AIFS recommends the government-approved Food Handler training provided by Food Safety First (FSF). This course covers essential aspects of food handling, including hazard identification, temperature control, and personal hygiene practices. Enrolling in a professional course delivered by a Register Training Organisation (RTO) not only ensures compliance but also fosters continuous improvement in food safety practices.
2. Food Safety Supervisors
Compliance with Standard 3.2.2A mandates the appointment of a certified Food Safety Supervisor responsible for overseeing food handling activities in all category one and category two businesses. This role is crucial in establishing a robust food safety culture within the organisation. AIFS emphasises the importance of designating a certified Food Safety Supervisor within the workplace and maintaining a five-year recertification cycle. Certification requires completion of a government-approved Food Safety Supervisor course.
3. Accurate Record-Keeping
Category one businesses involved in high-risk food preparation must adhere to meticulous record-keeping as per Standard 3.2.2A. Digital record-keeping systems are recommended to streamline compliance checks, demonstrating a commitment to transparency and adherence to food safety protocols.
What Happens if Businesses Don’t Comply With Standard 3.2.2A?
Local governments closely monitor Standard 3.2.2A compliance, and regulatory breaches can result in severe consequences for food businesses:
Non-compliance can significantly damage a business's reputation, resulting in negative publicity and a decline in revenue.
Food safety violations resulting in physical harm may lead to legal action, with the potential for multiple claims in the case of widespread food-borne illness outbreaks.
Financial penalties, determined by the severity of the infringement, can lead to economic strain and jeopardise the future of the business.
Persistent violations or a failure to address known food safety issues may lead to the establishments being shut down until compliance is achieved, impacting the revenue and financial sustainability of offending businesses.
Final Preparations Ahead of Standard 3.2.2A Compliance Deadline
With the compliance deadline imminent, AIFS stresses the importance of training, certification and robust record-keeping. After all, non-compliance impacts consumers and food businesses alike. By ensuring compliance, businesses can preserve public health while also protecting themselves from the lasting effects of legal prosecution and financial penalties.
Want to learn more before enrolling? Contact us today and discover how we can help you meet the requirements of Standard 3.2.2A.