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Food Safety Standards (Chapter 3)

(November 2016)

NOTE: these standards apply to all food businesses in Australia only. Food businesses in New Zealand are required to comply with New Zealand’s Food Act 1981 and the regulations and standards under this Act. For more information visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

The food safety standards aim to lower the incidence of foodborne illness. They place obligations on Australian food businesses to produce food that is safe and suitable to eat, and also place health and hygiene obligations on food handlers.

A food business is any business or activity that involves the handling of any type of food for sale, or the sale of food in Australia.

Charities, community groups and businesses operating from a private home or at temporary events are exempt from some of the requirements in the food safety standards. These groups and businesses can contact their local enforcement authority for further information.

FSANZ has developed separate standards for food businesses in the primary production and processing sectors.

Food Safety Standards

There are five food safety standards:

3.1.1 Interpretation and application

View Standard 3.1.1 here.

  • This standard defines the terms used in the food safety standards, specifies these standards apply to Australia only and that food businesses and food handlers must comply with their respective requirements. 
  • The guide for this standard is Safe Food Australia.

3.2.1 Food safety programs

View Standard 3.2.1 here.

  • This standard enables states and territories to require food businesses to implement a food safety program and sets out the general requirements for these programs.
  • A food safety program identifies the food safety hazards associated with a business’s food handling activities and indicates how the business will monitor and control these hazards.
  • For more information, see the Food Safety Programs web page.

3.2.2 Food safety practices and general requirements

View Standard 3.2.2 here.
  • This standard specifies food handling controls related to the receipt, storage, processing, display, packaging, transportation, disposal and recall of food. Other requirements relate to the skills and knowledge of food handlers and their supervisors, the health and hygiene of food handlers, and the cleaning, sanitising and maintenance of food premises and equipment.
  • Some exemptions apply to charities and community groups and to businesses operating from a private home or temporary premises (the local enforcement authority should be contacted for advice).
  • The guide for this standard is Safe Food Australia.
  • Fact sheets and more information on these requirements are here

3.2.3 Food premises and equipment

View Standard 3.2.3 here.

  • This standard sets out Australian requirements for the design and construction of food premises, fixtures, fittings, equipment and food transport vehicles. It aims to ensure that, where possible, the layout of the premises minimises opportunities for food contamination. These requirements should help food businesses meet the food safety requirements of Standard 3.2.2.
  • Some exemptions apply to food businesses operating from a private home or at temporary premises — the local enforcement authority should be contacted for advice.
  • The guide for this standard is Safe Food Australia.
  • Fact sheets and more information on specific requirements are here.

3.3.1 Food safety programs for food service to vulnerable persons

View Standard 3.3.1 here.
  • This standard requires Australian food businesses that prepare food for service to vulnerable people to implement a food safety program. This includes businesses providing food to hospital patients, aged care residents and children in childcare centres, who are generally at greater risk of foodborne illness. It usually also includes delivered meal organisations.
  • For more information, see the Food Safety Programs web page. 
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