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.

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