What is a food safety program?

A food safety program is a written plan that shows how a food business will ensure that the food it sells is safe for human consumption.

Class 1 and 2 food premises must have a food safety program and keep it at the premises at all times.

When applying to register a new food premises or buying an existing food premises, the details of the food safety program must be included as part of the application.

Types of food safety programs

There are two types of food safety programs: standard and non-standard.

Standard food safety programs

Standard food safety programs prepared using a template that has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The following templates are available for use by most Class 2 food premises:

A number of templates have also been developed by different organisations or industry associations e.g. some large food chains.

These templates may be available to the public, to members of the organisation or association or to franchises.

Non-standard food safety programs

Non-standard food safety programs are specifically written for a particular food business.

Class 1 food premises must have a non-standard food safety programs due to the “at risk” people that the business provides food to such as the very young, the elderly or people in hospitals or nursing homes.

Class 2 food premises have a choice of having a standard or non-standard food safety program.

Non-standard food safety programs must be audited by an approved food safety auditor to make sure that the food safety program is adequate for your business and is being complied with. Audit results are sent to us to ensure the food safety audit requirements are being complied with.

If your food business has food handling activities that are not covered under a standard food safety programs, then your food premises will need to have a non-standard food safety programs that has been assessed by an independent food safety auditor as adequately covering all food safety hazards.

Complying with your food safety program

It is a legal requirement to comply with your chosen food safety program, including:

  • implementing the specified processes and practices, and
  • keeping the required records.