Food safety

1.Food Safety

The last thing anyone wants is for a food borne incident to be linked to their food business. The damages are not only detrimental to reputation/consumer confidence but also result in a loss of profits due to potential compensation and/or reduced sales.

Many food business see food safety for the potential problems that it can prevent but tend not to think about the potential benefits it can provide for the business.

Benefits of good food safety include:

  • Less inspections, fees or fines from Council;
  • Food Safety Promotion Programs (Scores on Doors) resulting in free promotion;
  • Boost in consumer confidence. A visibly clean kitchen can promote the quality of the business and spread via customer word of mouth;
  • Less food wastage. Monitoring of food storage and ensuring effective stock rotation will reduce spoilage and prevent the service of unsuitable or unsafe food as well as save on product costs.

Continuous high quality food safety is the corner stone of any strong food business and should be considered by all food businesses. If you want to discuss what your food business can do to further improve the food safety of your business please contact Council’s Environmental Health team on (02) 6285 6246.

Businesses selling food in the local government area must also be registered with Council. To register download the form here and return it to any of our offices.

If you intend to supply food for sale at an event within the local government area you will need to gain permission from the event organiser who must submit the Temporary Event Food Application Form on behalf of all food vendors.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council works in partnership with the NSW Food Authority, www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au, to ensure access to safe and correctly labelled food.  For further information regarding the Food Regulation Partnership, please phone the NSW Food Authority Helpline on 1300 552 406 or email contact@foodauthority.nsw.gov.au.

2.Free Online Food Safety Training with “I’m Alert”

Council’s is assisting food businesses to meet the skills and knowledge requirements of the Food Safety Standards by providing free access to the “I’m Alert” training tool.

Completion of the “I’m Alert” program will assist food handlers in developing the skills and knowledge required to ensure food is handled in a safe and hygienic manner.

The program is easy to use with its entertaining presentations and interactive tasks and quizzes. A printable training acknowledgement form is also available upon completion to be kept as part of your staff records.

Visit www.qcc.imalert.com.au to access this free training now.

Food Safety Supervisors

Certain businesses that serve food must have a qualified Food Safety Supervisor. Training must be completed by a Registered Training Organisation approved by the NSW Food Authority. You can view more information about the Food Safety Supervisors here.

3.Inspections and penalties

Most food businesses receive one inspection per year, however if we serve a Notice or think your business is higher risk, Environmental Health Officers may visit more often. Visits are often educational, as it has been shown that good food businesses are more likely to comply with food regulations and good practice guidance via education instead of enforcement. Although, if you are likely to cause a serious risk to public safety, you could be closed down, issued with a penalty notice(s) or you may be prosecuted in the local court.

If you are thinking of buying a new or existing food business, we offer a pre-purchase inspection (fees apply) of the premises to give you a good idea of what needs to be done to bring it up to code or to comply with requirements prior to purchase.

4.Scores on Doors program

The Scores on Doors program publishes the hygiene and food safety inspection result achieved by NSW retail food premises. The program rates participating food businesses' compliance with NSW food safety legislation with an emphasis on the food handling practices linked to foodborne illness. This assessment, using a standardised checklist and points scheme, results in a score summarises the outcome. When displayed prominently, consumers can use this score to help them decide where to eat or buy food. The program is currently voluntary.

5.Pay your food inspection

If you have received an invoice for your food inspection fee you can pay it online here (you will be redirected to our online payment portal).