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Standard 3.2.2A- Food safety management tools

Food service, caterer and related retail businesses in Australia need to meet new food safety requirements from December 2023. 

What is Standard 3.2.2A?

  • Standard 3.2.2.A is a national food safety standard and an extension of Standard 3.2.2 requirements.
  • It applies to Australian businesses in food service, catering and retail sectors that handle unpackaged, potentially hazardous food that is ready to eat. 
  • Generally, these include caterers, restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, pubs, supermarkets and delis, food vans and other facilities serving food. 
  • These businesses will implement either two or three food safety management tools, based on their food handling activities. The three tools are food safety supervisor, food handler training and substantiation of critical food safety controls (evidence tool). 
  • See our animation Introduction to Standard 3.2.2A - Food Safety Management Tools.

What are the requirements? 

  • All food businesses in Australia must still comply with all requirements in Standard 3.2.2 and Standard 3.2.3
  • Food service, catering and retail businesses must comply with Standard 3.2.2A, based on whether they are classified as category one or category two businesses (see below). 
  • Category one (higher risk) businesses must implement all three management tools. 
  • Category two businesses must have a food safety supervisor and trained food handlers. 

These requirements are in place because unpackaged, potentially hazardous food that is ready to eat is high risk and needs careful handling to keep it safe. 

Category one business 

  • A caterer or food service business that processes unpackaged potentially hazardous food into food that is both ready-to-eat and potentially hazardous food. 
  • The food is then served to a consumer to eat without any further processing. 

Category two business 

  • A retailer of potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food, where the food was handled unpackaged, but not made or processed onsite (other than slicing, weighing, repacking, reheating or hot-holding). 

What is a food safety supervisor? 

  • A food safety supervisor (FSS) must be a person who has recognised, formal certification as a FSS, obtained in the past 5 years. They should have recent, relevant skills and knowledge to handle food safely, particularly high-risk food. See our Food safety supervisor InfoBite

What is food handler training? 

  • Food handler training must include: 
    • safe handling of food 
    • food contamination 
    • cleaning and sanitising of food premises and equipment 
    • personal hygiene. 
  • Food businesses must ensure all food handlers have completed a food safety training course, or have appropriate skills and knowledge, before they start handling high-risk foods. See our Food handler training InfoBite an​d animation

What is 'substantiation' of critical food safety controls? (Category one) 

  • Businesses must keep records or demonstrate that requirements for safely receiving, storing, processing, displaying and transporting potentially hazardous food, and for cleaning and sanitising are being met. These are called 'prescribed provisions'. The business must show how these have been achieved or verified. 
  • The business must make a record, unless it can show in another way it is meeting requirements and be able to demonstrate this to an authorised officer (food regulator). See our Evidence tool InfoBite fact sheet.

More information

See Safe Food Australia (our guide to the food safety standards in the Food Standards Code) and our InfoBites or contact us.

Food regulators also have information to help food businesses in their jurisdiction understand the requirements of this standard. See the web links below:

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Page last updated 11 December 2023