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Skills for food handlers

It’s important your food handlers and their supervisors have the skills and knowledge to handle food properly so that it’s safe to eat.

What are the requirements?

Under Standard 3.2.2 - Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, you must make sure the people who handle food, and their supervisiors, have the skills and knowledge to keep food safe and suitable to eat.

Reduce your risk

Discuss food safety and hygiene with your team, including who is responsible for which tasks and how they manage things to keep food safe.

  • Provide clear instructions and operating procedures.
  • Remind your team about food safety often and provide refresher training to keep them up to date.
  • Keep records of who has received what training and when.
  • If you have new staff or new practices (e.g. new recipe or equipment), make sure everyone involved knows what to do and how to do it.

What training is needed?

Formal training in specific courses is not generally needed. But some states or territories have compulsory training requirements e.g. for a food safety supervisor (check with your local council).

Some training options include:

  • in-house training by experienced staff
  • online training courses (e.g. "I'm Alert")
  • having operating rules that set out staff tasks and responsibilities
  • employing staff with formal industry-based training
  • written material, videos, animations, interactive training
  • training in languages other than English.

What if i’m a charity or community group?

Charities and community groups using volunteers to sell only low-risk foods (e.g. canned drinks, packaged lollies) or food that is cooked on site and eaten straightaway (e.g. a sausage sizzle) do not have to have food handling skills and knowledge. Regardless of this, all food handlers still need to meet health, hygiene and other food safety standards requirements. Check with your local council for any specific requirements.

Need more information?

Safe Food Australia is a guide to the food safety standards in Chapter 3 of the Food Standards Code. Skills and knowledge are covered under Standard 3.2.2 clause 3.

Copies of the guide are available at on our website or by emailing information@foodstandards.gov.au.​

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