Food safety auditing
There are different requirements throughout Australia in regard to food safety audits. Most states require licensed food businesses to implement a food safety program and have a food safety audit conducted to ensure compliance with the program.
New South Wales
In NSW licensed food businesses are required to have regular audits to demonstrate compliance with their food safety plan and any other requirements of the relevant food safety scheme set out in the Food Regulation.
Food businesses with a suitable audit and compliance history from the NSW Food Authority may choose to use a regulatory food safety auditor.
Safe Food Australia have third-party auditors approved by the Food Authority to conduct audits in the following areas;
- Facilities licensed to provide food to vulnerable persons (Aged care and hospitals)
Cold food storage
- Dairy primary production
- Plant products
- Seafood processing
Facilities wishing to implement a Regulatory Food Safety Auditor System must meet the following conditions of approval;
- Have a satisfactory compliance history
- Have received either an A or B rating from its most recent audit
- Operate in an industry approved by the Food Authority to move to this system
- Operate at a risk level that has been approved by the Food Authority to move to this system
Have no outstanding enforcement action against it. If you are interested in moving into the third-party audit system, we can assist you with the relevant information to make the move as smooth as possible.
One of the many benefits of moving across to the third-party audit system includes consistency in audits especially if you have multiple sites.
In QLD local government are responsible for licensing food businesses within their areas.
The following licensable food businesses are required to have an accredited food safety program if:
- The food business involves off-site catering
- The primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at the premises stated in the licence
- The primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence to cater to 200 or more people on 12 or more occasions in any 12 month period
- The food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital or otherwise processes or serves potentially hazardous food to six (6) or more vulnerable people (Aged Care, childcare and hospitals)
Once your food safety program has been accredited by either your local government or an accredited Third Party auditor you will need to comply with the processes outlined in the program and;
- Keep a copy of the accredited food safety program at the premises of the food business. This should be kept available for inspection by employees in the food business (either hard copy of electronic form)
- Organise your first compliance audit within six (6) months of the food safety program being accredited. The audit must be conducted by an auditor approved under the Act
- Organise regular audits at the frequency specified by the local government that accredited the food safety program or within your local area
Contact us if you require information on;
- Developing a food safety program
- Accrediting your food safety program
- Auditing your food safety system
In VIC class 1 and 2 premises that have independent food safety programs are required to be audited at declared intervals by a department approved food safety auditor who is certified as competent to conduct audits.
All class 1 facilities such as childcare centres, aged care facilities, hospitals must have an independent food safety program and must be audited annually.
Class 2 businesses that choose to develop their own independent food safety program must also be audited annually or use the VIC health template.
Safe Food Australia have auditors that are accredited to conduct audits for the above mentioned businesses, we can also develop food safety programs, please contact us to discuss your requirements.
We are able to provide training and internal audits in these states where the regulator conducts audits, to assist with compliance and the requirements of your food safety plan.
What to expect during an audit
An opening meeting is conducted at the beginning of the audit with key personnel in attendance. During this meeting we will address any corrective actions raised during the previous audit, ascertain the type of processes conducted on site, review changes to products or processes and other relevant information. The food safety plan must be available and on site and the license of the business current and correct for the type of business.
The food safety plan, monitoring records and support programs such as pest control, staff training, maintenance, waste, allergen management and labelling will be reviewed followed by a site inspection and observation of processing.
At the completion of the audit an exit meeting would be conducted with key personnel and include the audit summary and result, corrective actions and close out times.
The Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia operates FeedSafe® as the quality assurance accreditation program for the Australian stockfeed industry. FeedSafe® is aimed at increasing the commitment of the Australian stock feed industry to quality assurance and risk mitigation in the manufacture and use of animal feeds and has recognised the need for a broader industry approach to feed and food safety.
To obtain FeedSafe® accreditation, feed manufacturers are required to undergo annual site audits conducted by independent third-party food safety auditors.
The FeedSafe® audit checklist is utilised by auditors and feed mills to assess compliance in relation to:
- Premises and mill buildings
- Personnel training and qualifications
- Plant and equipment
- Raw material sourcing and purchasing
- Raw material quality and storage
- Feed formulation and manufacturing
- Product labelling
- Loading, transport and delivery to clients
- Product inspection, sampling and testing
- Customer complaint investigation
Safe Food Australia is accredited to conduct FeedSafe® audits throughout Australia please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Internal audits assist businesses to comply with both the regulatory requirements and their food safety plan, it demonstrates a proactive approach to food safety and quality management.
Safe food Australia can conduct an internal audit prior to your regulatory audit to assist you with your compliance requirements and achieving a satisfactory audit outcome.
We will design the internal audit to meet the regulatory requirements, we recommend that food safety refresher training be included to address any corrective actions raised during the audit.
Comprehensive written and verbal feedback will be supplied following the audit with any corrective actions and time frames provided.
Please contact us to discuss your site specific requirements.
Food safety training
To demonstrate compliance with the Food Safety Standards a food business must ensure that persons handling or supervising food handling operations have the appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene.
We can deliver cost effective on-site food safety refresher training focusing on the site specific and compliance requirements for your business.
A typical course covers:
- Recent food poisoning or contamination issues
- Food safety hazards
- Requirements for food handlers
- Pathogenic bacteria
- Controlling bacterial growth
- Potentially hazardous food
- Personal hygiene
- Reporting health issues
- Environmental hygiene
- Cleaning and sanitising
- Allergen management
We can design the content to suit your specific industry, our training includes a PowerPoint presentation, relevant handouts with a short quiz to reinforce learning. A certificate of attendance will be issued.
All training is conducted by accredited trainers who hold a current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
If you would like accredited training, we are closely affiliated with a registered training organisation please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Safe Food Australia have conducted HACCP audits for assorted food businesses including wholesales, catering businesses supplying food to airlines, coffee roasters, nut processors and pocket herb farms.
Our auditors are Exemplar Global NFSA Level 4 high risk accredited with a wide range of industry scopes including cook chill, prepared meals, food service operations (meals for vulnerable populations), fruit and vegetable processing, bakery operations, animal feeds, extensive agricultural operations, food transport and warehousing, intensive horticulture operations and dairy farm operations
We conduct the HACCP audit based on our checklist, a detailed written report is provided following the audit with any corrective actions and time frames provided. A HACCP certificate is issued. If corrective actions are raised a certificate will be issued once these have been closed out.
For a competitive quote please contact us, cost will be subject to the size and type of processing conducted and where your site is located.