Food Safety: Company Fined For Serious Burns

Food Safety A food company was charged with a  $110,000 fine and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a 19-year-old apprentice chef suffered serious burns at a CBD restaurant.

SG Foodservice will face charges for the September 2010 incident which resulted in an apprentice chef burning 60 per cent of his body.

The apprentice chef was carrying boiling stock in two 20 litre buckets between floors via the fire escape when he slipped and fell, dropping the buckets. SG Foodservice was charged with a breach of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.

WorkCover began an investigation which has since revealed that

• It was common place in the business to transport boiling hot stock in buckets via the firestairs.
• Previously, other staff members had fallen while using the fire escape on at least two separate occasions.
• it was unclear  among staff over whether the nearby elevator was free to use for  staff or only for guests.
• After the incident SG Foodservice prohibited the use of the firestairs to transport hot stock, instead requiring that stock be transported via the lift.

The court found that the risk to the injured person was so foreseeable that an accident was bound to happen.

SG Foodservice pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $110,000.

WorkCover NSW’s acting General Manager of Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy said“Working in the hospitality industry involves a lot of manual handling, especially in commercial kitchens which can be dangerous if risks to health and safety are not made the top priority,” he said.

“WorkCover will work with the company to ensure that the same mistakes are not made in the future.”

More info on Food Safety Supervisor Training



Food Safety Supervisor: It’s Good For Your Health To Be Safe

There is nothing worse than having been slightly liberal with your wallet on a beautiful 5-star restaurant meal (trying to impress the significant other! )… only to wake up in the middle of the night with a burning, unbearable pain in the stomache. That sharp pain  feels like a swift punch in the belly by Mike Tyson…but its not from that. You hurriedly think to your self ” It can’t be the cereal I had this morning! I THINK that sandwhich meat for lunch was fine.. so it could only be— NO! Why?! Why did I have to spend so much money on this meal, and experiment to be “exciting!”…Why?!

But it’s not always your fault, and it’s not always the mysterious, exotic dish’s fault… Sometime’s things go wrong, and someone is to blame.

It is imperative that  food business owners in Victoria  ensure  that their staff  are adequately skilled and knowledgeable enough to  safely handle food in their respective roles. It is therefore important for  food businesses  to elect a food safety supervisor to make sure of this.

What? A Food Safety Supervisor? What’s that?

A FSS  is someone who:

  • Is able to easily recognise, prevent and eliminate food handling hazards at the food business
  •  has earned a Statement of Attainment that declares that they have the required food safety competencies from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO);
  • has the ability and authority to supervise other people handling food at the premises and ensure that food handling is done safely.

What type of  Food Businesses Need FSS?

Only class 1 and class 2 food premises require a  food safety supervisor.

Food poisoning most often occurs upon consumption of  “potentially hazardous food” such as meat, seafood, cooked main meals and sandwiches. In addition, persons with weakened or immature immune systems suffer a greater risk of serious illness or death from food poisoning.

Class 1 and class 2 businesses therefore require a food safety supervisor. However a food safety supervisor is not required for class 1 and class 2 food premises which use a whole-of-business food safety program prepared under a recognised Quality Assurance (QA) system, and that program includes competency-based or accredited staff training. Such a system is an alternative means of educating staff about how to handle food safety.

Class 3 and class 4 food premises do not require a food safety supervisor as the nature of the food handled at those premises is not commonly associated with food poisoning. However, these businesses must still ensure that they maintain safe food handling practices.

All food premises (businesses and community groups) that sell food are legally required to ensure that it is safe for human consumption, regardless of the premises food safety supervisor requirements.

The Importance of Food Safety Supervisors

Food Safety Supervisors aim to prevent individuals from becoming ill as a result of food poisoning.  According to the Australian Health Department, approximately 5.4 Australians suffer from food-related illnesses annually from products contaminated with bacteria or viruses.

Considering Australia has one of the safest food supplies worldwide, this number is staggering. It is the working relationship between food manufacturers, food handlers, government regulators and  quality training programs that Australia can boast a safe food supply but regardless of strong efforts, the need for continuous safety training is ever present.Individuals must be knowledgeable in the proper methods to treat and handle food because a lack of proper information can result in sickness or death.  So how does one limit the number food contamination that results in sickness? Food Safety Supervisors.

What is a food safety supervisor?

A food safety supervisor is someone who:

  •  is trained to determine and prevent food handling risks at your premises.
  • has earned a Statement of Attainment that shows they are capable and qualified to fulfill required food safety competencies from Registered Training Organisations such as AlertForce.
  • has the knowledge, capability and authority to supervise other workers in the correct handling of food at the premises, thus ensuring safe food handling.

Choosing the right food safety supervisor for your business

When choosing a food safety supervisor one must be advised to do so carefully. A food safety supervisor can be the owner, an employee or an external person to the establishment. They must however, be able to meet the food safety supervisor requirements under the Food Act.

When choosing a FSS it is important to choose someone with the following attributes:

One must maintain that their food safety supervisor has everything  needed to be fully capable at  performing the role at your business. This means that:

  • Requirements are clearly and concisely laid out in the job description.
  • Responsibilities and role requirements are clearly apparent to the individual
  • They have received relevant appropriate training from a reputable and approved training organisation.
  • they are provided time in  their working day to perform FSS tasks.
  •  They are capable of supervising other workers within the establishment and the staff are aware of their title/job.
  • They are prepared and capable in the event that your business encounters any food safety issues.
A FSS is not required to be present on the premises at all times but they must be aware of the food handling methods being implemented when the FSS is not present. This also applies when a person outside of the business has been assigned the FSS role.

One cannot overstate the importance of food safety supervisors and more specifically, hiring a good FSS. It may not only save litigation, time and stress, but also lives.

Food Safety Supervisors: Mandatory Training Required by October

food safety supervisorAll NSW Food Businesses Require Mandatory Government Training By October 1, 2011

Under the regulations set forth by the NSW Food Authority, many hospitality and food retail businesses are running out of time to appoint a trained Food Safety Supervisor to their businesses. By October, 1 2011 a large number of businesses involved with the preparing and selling of food, must not only appoint a trained safety supervisor but, must notify the proper enforcement agency (usually the local council) or face fines and perhaps in some cases prosecution.

How Many Food Safety Supervisors Does My Business Need?

The number of food safety supervisors you need depends on your business. For example, a supermarket chain needs at least one food safety supervisor per location. While a single restaurant only needs one supervisor for the restaurant regardless of the number of shifts.

Who Is The Food Safety Supervisor?

The food safety supervisor is appointed by the owner. In a small businesses the owner may appoint himself, in larger businesses it could be the manager, head cook or someone who is specifically hired for the job of being the food safety supervisor. Regardless of who the supervisor is he must have the required training for the job and the certificate to prove it.

The training for the food safety supervisor is over and above the training that is require by all food handlers to take. The training must be completed through a recognize training organization and the supervisor must show the skills and competence necessary to be awarded a Food Safety supervisor certificate that is valid for 5 years after which time a refresher course is required to renew the certificate.

Once a qualified food supervisor is appointed, the owner must notify the relevant enforcement agency within 7 days of the appointment giving them details of the Supervisor. The supervisor then has the authority to supervise and train all food handlers in food safety.

The business must also keep the certificate on file and present it when requested during a food safety inspection.

If for any reason your Food Safety Supervisor leaves your employ you must appoint a new supervisor within 30 days and notify the appropriate enforcement agency of that change.

What Businesses Are Affected By This Regulation

With a few exceptions most of the businesses dealing with hospitality and food retail will be affected by this new law. That includes the following businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Takeaway shops
  • stationary and mobil caterers
  • bakeries
  • pubs
  • clubs
  • hotels
  • Temporary food premises such as food stalls at festivals and community events
  • mobil food vendors (those selling food from a truck)
  • supermarkets that sell hot food.


What Happens If My Business Fails To Meet The October 1, 2011 Deadline?

You can fail to comply with these regulations in 4 ways.

  1. You fail to appoint a new Food Safety Supervisor within 30 days of the original or last supervisor leaving.
  2. You fail to notify the relevant agency of the food supervisor within 7 days of their appointment.
  3. Business does not notify the relevant agency within 7 days of the business becoming aware of the change in details of the food safety supervisor.
  4. Business fails to keep a copy of the FSS certificate on the premises and does not produce it when requested during inspections.

These failures to comply can result in fines of up to $330 for an individual or $660 for a registered company. In addition according to the 2003 regulations serious breaches may be prosecuted as well.

The changes in regulations and the appointment of a Food Safety Supervisor is necessary to help ensure that proper food handling and safety measures are maintained on a day to day basis. A trained food safety supervisor will need to know the safe way to handle food as it applies to all staff.

The owner will still be responsible for any breaches in food safety. By ensuring that a supervisor is available to supervise, instruct and maintain the proper handling of the food it is the hope of the NSW food authority that everyone will benefit from this new regulation and provide for a safer work environment both for those handling the food and the customers who eat the food.



The food handling certificate – principles of safe food handling

There are two principles that guide the safe handling of food:

  1. The prevention of food contamination, and
  2. Controlling bacterial growth in food.

If you work as a food handler, you may be required to complete your food handling certificate. Food safety training will outline all the principles of safe food handling. Time and temperature control are the most effective practices against bacterial growth in food.

As a food handler you need to be aware of temperature control at every stage throughout the production process because bacterial growth is greatest when food is left in the danger zone.

What temperature range marks the ‘danger zone’ of foods, where bacterial growth is greatest? The danger zone is between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius. Foods left in the danger zone are susceptible to dangerous levels of bacterial growth. Food safety training will educate you on these and other important facts.

The Food Safety Standards require you to keep foods at 5 degrees Celsius and below or at 60 degrees Celsius and above to minimise the growth of harmful bacteria in the foods you handle.

And time control is just as important. Consider this: when you minimise the time food spends in the danger zone, harmful bacteria don’t have the opportunity to grow to levels that could cause a food safety hazard such as food poisoning. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to understand about such hazards. You can do this by obtaining a food safety certificate.

A handy rule is the two hour four hour rule. You can apply this rule to all high risk, ready to eat foods which have been held at a temperature within the danger zone, between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius.

  1. Refrigerate immediately after 2 hours
  2. Use immediately between 2 and 4 hours, and finally
  3. Discard the food after 4 hours in the danger zone.

By removing the opportunity for bacteria to grow and multiply, you are minimising the risk of a food safety hazard in your workplace.

Ready to eat food should be discarded after 4 hours at in the danger zone. Remember that the ‘2 hour 4 hour rule’ applies to all high-risk, ready to eat foods, so for this scenario, calculate from the time of cooking at 5.30pm to discard at 9.30pm.

Finally, monitoring and record keeping are also used to maintain the hygienic handling of food. It may be necessary for you to monitor and record the temperature and appearance of foods on food safety check sheets as a part of your workplace food safety program. A food safety course will advise you on these and many other food handling requirements. Make sure you have your food handling certificate before applying for a job that requires one.

Food safety training – understanding food safety hazards

A food safety hazard is something that is dangerous and likely to cause harm to food. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to understand about food safety hazards You can do this by obtaining a food safety certificate

Understanding the key risks which lead to food contamination and applying safe handling practices will help prevent a food safety hazard in your workplace. Completing your food handling certificate will ensure you have the knowledge to do so.

If you work in a high risk establishment, such as an aged care facility, be aware that special additional procedures also apply.
Food safety training will help you easily identify hazards. Food can be unsafe for a number of reasons, including:

  • Chemical contamination
  • Natural toxic foods
  • Food allergens
  • Physical contamination and
  • Contamination by harmful bacteria

Did you know that many chemicals are used in the production, processing and preserving of food? Insect sprays, cleaning products and baits are all common chemicals that can cause food poisoning if used incorrectly.

Remember to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before use to remove any traces of pesticides and herbicides.

Different chemicals may need to be treated in different ways: check the labels and material safety data sheets to find out how they should be used and which safety precautions to be aware of. Always follow the instructions and ask your supervisor if you are unsure.

Store chemicals away from food or the equipment that comes into contact with food, such as utensils, benches and preparation materials.

Have you ever had to modify food production to cater for a food allergy? Food safety training will ensure you are prepared for this. Nuts, fish & shellfish, wheat, egg, dairy and soy account for the majority of food allergies which are caused by the naturally occurring chemicals in these foods, called food allergens.

Allergies are specific to each individual, with side effects ranging from mild stomach discomfort to death in extreme cases.

Symptoms may include:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Severe swelling
  • Eczema
  • Nausea, vomiting & diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps & congestion, and
  • Shortness of breath

There is no cure for allergies only avoidance and being prepared for any severe reaction that may occur.

A food safety course will advise you on these and many other food handling requirements. Make sure you have your food handling certificate before applying for a job that requires one.

Food safety training – your responsibilities

As a  food handler, it is your legal responsibility to maintain food safety in the workplace.

This means understanding all policies and procedures in your workplace, food safety hazards and prrinciples for safe food handling. (more…)

Jamie Oliver on food safety

While promoting fresh home cooking, Oliver also emphasizes the importance of food safety precautions. He has published numerous articles and videos on his website that are designed to teach people about the importance of cooking safely in the home. (more…)

Egg recall sparks calls for quick passage of food safety legislation

Washington, USA.

The recall of 380 million eggs — almost 32 million dozen — due to a possible salmonella contamination is sparking calls for the quick passage of food-safety legislation after the August recess.

The recent outbreak has sickened hundreds of people across multiple states. (more…)

Getting food handlers training

When it comes to this type of course mostly what you will need is a computer and a will to learn. (more…)

Food safety training

When it comes to food, not many people think that following safety precautions is essential. But that is not really the case. (more…)

Handling Food Hygienically – Food Safety Training

Customers rely on food staff to provide food that is safe to eat. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to maintain safe food handling practices in the workplace. It is also your responsibility to carry out duties to monitor food handling, taking action to correct or report any unsafe practices you observe in your workplace. The AlertForce Food Safety training program will help you to understand the risks, and to follow safe food handling practices.

Food Safety Policies and Procedures

Food Safety Policies and Procedures have become increasingly important for food businesses.

Food businesses must:
– conform to legal requirements
– ensure that food is free from contamination

Food poisoning outbreaks can have a devastating effect.

Sound food safety practices help:
– Identify food safety hazards
– Reduce the likelihood of outbreaks occurring

Disturbing Food Safety Results At Sports Stadiums

Sports fans might want to just watch the game instead of eating at some sports stadiums across the country. ESPN just went through a list of food safety inspections and made some pretty gross discoveries.

ESPN looked through 107 health inspection reports for all the major league stadiums and ball parks. They found more than half of the concession stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one “critical” or “major” health violation. (more…)

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