Food safety management tools for food businesses

New national standards from 8 December 2023

Standard 3.2.2A – Food Safety Management Tools (external site) is a new standard introduced across Australia to improve food safety in the following industries:

  • food service
  • retail
  • catering.

The tools introduced in Standard 3.2.2A will enable your businesses to manage food safety risks more effectively which will help prevent food-borne illnesses, outbreaks, loss of revenue and reputational damage to your business.

The new standard will be enforced Australia-wide from the 8 December 2023.

Read the Guide for food businesses on Food Safety Standard 3.2.2A guide (3MB PDF). See more resources under 'More information', including resources in Thai, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese and Italian.

Does the standard apply to my food business?

The standard applies to food businesses that handle unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods that is:

  • used in the preparation of ready-to-eat food to be served to a consumer
  • ready-to-eat food intended for retail sale by that business.

Potentially hazardous foods are generally foods that need to be kept in the fridge to keep them safe.

For example:

  • raw/cooked meats and food containing meat
  • food containing eggs
  • dairy products
  • seafood and food containing seafood
  • sprouted seeds
  • cut fruits and vegetables
  • cooked rice
  • fresh and cooked pasta.

Charities and fundraising

Events that raise funds solely for a community or charitable cause and not for personal financial gain (fundraising) are excluded from these requirements. 

Food business categories

Your food business will either be a ‘category one’ or ‘category two’ business depending on your food handling activities. Your business category will determine the food safety management tools that you need to implement.

These tools include:

  1. Food handler training
  2. Food safety supervisor
  3. Showing that your food is safe

The tools that apply to category one and two businesses are:

Food business category Food handler training Food safety supervisor Showing that your food is safe
Category one Yes Yes Yes
Category two Yes Yes Not applicable

Note: Fundraising charity events are exempt from complying with the standard.

Difference between category one and two businesses

Category one

Category two

Type of food handling activities

or food service businesses that:
  • process (includes chopping, cooking, drying, fermenting, heating, thawing and washing) unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods into potentially hazardous food that is ready-to-eat; and
  • serves that food direct to the consumer, whether consumed at the food premises or elsewhere.

Food retailers that:

  • sell ready-to-eat potentially hazardous food to the consumer and
  • handle the food unpackaged but do not make or process it (other than slicing, weighing, repacking, reheating or hot-holding).
Business examples Examples of category one businesses include (but are not limited to):
  • restaurants and cafes
  • fast food outlets and takeaways
  • caterers
  • hospitals and aged care
  • childcare centres
  • school canteens
  • family day care
  • bakeries
  • mobile food vendors
  • market stalls and
  • some service stations, supermarkets and delis that make and serve food such as sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads, meat dishes, and cooked chickens.
Examples of category two businesses include (but are not limited to):
  • some supermarkets
  • some service stations
  • some delis
  • seafood retailers
  • butchers
  • some market stalls
  • some service stations and
  • convenience stores that handle (but do not process/make) unpackaged potentially hazardous food.
Food safety management tools

The standard introduces new mandatory tools to manage food safety in businesses that handle:

  • unpackaged
  • potentially hazardous
  • ready-to-eat foods.


1. Food handler training (category one and two)

Category one and category two businesses must ensure that each food handler that will be handling unpackaged potentially hazardous food that is ready-to-eat has either:

  • completed a food safety training course
  • demonstrate skills and knowledge in food safety and hygiene relevant to their food handling activities

Food safety training courses for food handlers must include training on:

  1. safe handling of food
  2. food contamination
  3. cleaning and sanitising of food premises and equipment
  4. personal hygiene.

Note: Handling of food includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food. This includes (but not limited to) chefs, cook, servers and some wait staff if they assist with the handling of unpackaged, potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food to be served to a customer or intended for retail sale.

Online training courses for food handlers

A range of online food safety training courses meet the requirements of the standard:

The course may take approximately one to one and half hours to complete. A certificate or email confirming completion of the course will be provided.

Keeping a record of food handlers who have completed the course is an easy way to demonstrate that your business has complied with this requirement.

*Contact your local government to find out if they subscribe to this course provider prior to signing up. If they are a subscriber, you and your staff will be able to sign up for free.

Food Act authorised officers/Environmental Health Officer

An authorised officer from your local government may assess the food handlers’ skills and knowledge to determine if the business is implementing these requirements, for example by observing their food handling activities or discussing their knowledge of food safety and hygiene with them.

An authorised officer may request that the food handler does further training if they determine that they do not have the necessary skills and knowledge.

2. Food safety supervisor(s) (category one and two)

Category one and category two food businesses must appoint a food safety supervisor to advise and supervise food handlers to ensure that food is handled safely.

The food safety supervisor's role is to:

  • identify, prevent and fix food safety problems
  • share their skills and knowledge with food handlers and promote positive food safety practices in the food business
  • supervises food handlers engaging in handling unpackaged PHF and ensures that the correct safe food handling practices are used
  • make sure steps are taken to manage food safety risks

Food businesses can decide who to nominate as a food safety supervisor, for example it could be the owner, manager, or employee.

To manage and give direction on the safe handling of food, this person must have the:

  • skills
  • knowledge
  • authority
  • ability.

Therefore, they should be someone who regularly handles food as part of their normal duties and who is readily available (for example a chef or cook).

Food safety supervisor training courses

A food safety supervisor will be required to take a food safety supervisor training course delivered by a registered training organisation and the certification must be refreshed every 5 years.

Refer to Food Safety Supervisor Training Course for the listing of approved registered training organisations operating in Australia.

Online courses can take approximately 9 to 10 hours to complete.

3. Showing that your food is safe (category one only)

Your business must show that you are making safe food by either:

  1. keeping a record of important food safety controls, activites and processes
  2. demonstrating safe food handling practices

Keeping records of important food safety controls, activities and processes

Category one businesses must show they are complying with the requirements set out in Standard 3.2.2 (external site) for:

  • temperature control of food during receipt
  • temperature control of food during storage
  • using a pathogen reduction step (e.g. adequate cooking temperatures or pH) during food processing
  • minimising the time potentially hazardous food is out of temperature control during processing
  • cooling food within the specified timeframe
  • rapidly reheating food that is going to be hot held
  • temperature control of food during display
  • temperature control of food during transport
  • cleaning and sanitising of food contact surfaces and equipment.

This can be achieved by keeping records. Records must be kept for a minimum of 3 months.

Record keeping templates

Record keeping templates can be downloaded from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand's (FSANZ) website (external site) - Appendix 8: record template examples (external site), or you can create your own.

Local government authorised officers can request to view your records during assessments. It is important to keep records accessible at the premises so that you can provide them when requested.

Demonstrating safe food handling practices

Alternatively, your food business can use other means to demonstrate to a local government authorised officer that key food safety controls are being managed.

If an authorised officer determines that you cannot demonstrate compliance they may require your business to keep records.

Frequently asked questions

More information

Western Australian resources

Australian resources

Further questions

For any questions about the standard contact your local government Environmental Health Services (external website).

Last reviewed: 31-07-2023
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate