Page last updated January 2023
Food safety culture in a food business is how everyone (owners, managers, employees) thinks and acts in their daily job to make sure the food they make or serve is safe. It's about having pride in producing safe food every time, recognising that a good quality product must be safe to eat. Food safety is your top priority.
A strong food safety culture comes from people understanding the importance of making safe food and committing to doing whatever it takes, every time. It starts at the top but needs everyone's support across the business.
To learn more, watch our introduction to food safety culture video for food businesses or
Read more information on characteristics of a strong culture in our poster
(PDF 85 kb).
Why it's important
A good food safety culture can protect:
There are around 4.1 million cases of foodborne illness in Australia each year. Unsafe food causes about 30,800 hospitalisations and 76 deaths. Read more in this article on the
Centres for Diease Control and Prevention website.
About 80 food products are recalled each year. Most recalls are due to contamination by disease-causing microorganisms, or allergens that were not declared on the label.
We can link unsafe food to poor hygiene practices or mistakes by people handling food. This can happen even when people have received training and the businesses are inspected and audited.
Food businesses need to focus on their people as well as processes. Food handlers’ knowledge of good practices and what they do in their everyday work will determine whether food is safe.