These days, cafe and restaurant owners are more preoccupied than ever, in not just providing excellent service or making your favourite coffee, but in adhering to very important food safety laws. These Food safety laws are in effect for a reason and adherence ensures a safer community.
What do the restaurant and cafe owners do on a daily basis to comply with the Food Safety Act and as such to avoid convictions and being blacklisted by the council and the regulatory bodies?
They complete their daily checks as required by the Food safety laws and as such they maintain the safety of the general public. The issue is that unfortunately most cafe’s are still completing their daily temperature checks using pen-and paper or excel spreadsheets. These methods are not just outdated, time consuming and ineffective, but they are also dangerous. Inaccurate and insufficient daily temperature evaluation or missing temperature logs can result in cafe’s unknowingly selling unsafe food to the public.
To ensure that this never happens, iComplied can assist the hospitality industry with automated tool, an App with pre-built Food safety checklist. These food safety checklists can be scheduled in recurring audits with automated notifications and alerts ensuring that these important audits are never missed, are conducted with evidence (image or doc) attached and can be easily accessed and retrieved when needed the most. The platform ensures documented evidence can be retained and supplier information up to date at all times.
The Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code
All businesses that sell and make their own food must comply with the Food Act 1984, as well as mandatory compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code*:
The code ensures that 4 major objectives are met by everyone in the food industry and they entail following:
- Ensuring that food sold to be consumed by the general public is safe and as such suitable for that purpose;
- Prevents the business owners for misconduct and misleading claims related to the sale of food;
- Ensures that the businesses provide enough information o enable consumers to make an informed decision
- It provides effective and consistent framework which food industry can follow and abide by.
Based on this code, approved auditors and council environmental health officers conduct annual assessment on all class 1 and class 2 premises.
According to the Health. Vic (2018) The Food Act 1984 requires that:
- a food safety audit be conducted to determine whether a food safety program
- has been complied with during the period covered by the audit; and
- is still adequate at the date of the audit.
- the business is complying with the Food Safety Standards (in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code).
- the business has completed all required records.
- the business has addressed non-conformance’s identified previously
- the audit of a food safety program must be conducted by a department-approved food safety auditor certified as competent to conduct an audit of such a premises.
An audit involves a food safety auditor checking that a business is complying with its food safety program, the Food Act and applicable standards. This is all managed by the local councils and carried out on at least an annual basis.
Local council responsibilities
Local council retains responsibility for registering food businesses under the Food Act, and inspecting all class 1 and 2 food premises on initial registration or transfer to a new proprietor.
Local council is also responsible for:
- once a year, assessing all class 1 food premises and class 2 premises that have a standard food safety program.
- responding to notifications of critical non-conformance’s from an auditor.
- enforcing compliance with the audit frequency declared in the Government Gazette by the Secretary to the Department of Health & Human Services (currently one audit each year for class 1 and class 2 premises).
- investigating complaints made against a food business
- enforcing regulatory action, where required.
If you are a cafe owner who needs more assistance with their audits then iComplied is your perfect solution. We understand, food safety can be confusing and time consuming and with iComplied this doesn’t have to be the way. Our tool is simple, flexible and cost effective. There is no set-up needed, minimum training and we help you with scheduling your audits as we already have the checklists that you need in our system.