Food safety is everyone's responsibility
Incorrect food handling practices can lead to illnesses. In extreme cases, they may even result in the death of vulnerable people, including the elderly, infants, or the chronically ill.
The Department of Health and Human Services, in particular Food Safety Victoria, has general oversight of the administration of the Food Act 1984, but we share this responsibility.
Our environmental health unit provides advice on safe food handling for all areas of our community, including businesses, charities, sporting, church and community groups, as well as individuals.
We also have regulatory obligations for any business or community group selling food to the public. If you operate a food business, safe food handling practices ensure your business remains viable.
In the home, safe food handling ensures our families and friends enjoy their food without illness.
Personal hygiene is essential for people working with food at home or at work.
At home and in the community
There are a few simple ways you can help ensure the food you buy and take home for yourself, your family or friends remains safe.
Food Safety Victoria website has helpful information.
If you are a charity, community, sporting, church or other not-for-profit group selling food to the public there are requirements that must be met.
Learn more about temporary and mobile food premises registration.
Information sheets on food safety are also available in many languages on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Food businesses responsibilities
Food safety supervisor
Everyone who works in a food business, including the proprietor, is responsible for the delivery of safe food to their customers.
Class one, and most class two, premises must have a food safety supervisor.
A food safety supervisor must have the minimum competencies for the food sector they work in and have a statement of attainment before they can work as a food safety supervisor in their sector.
Training courses are provided by registered training organisations.
For further information go to food safety supervisors qualifications information.
Food safety program
In Victoria, all class one and two food premises need a food safety program
A food safety program is a written plan that shows what a business does to ensure the food it sells is safe for people to eat. It is an important tool to help businesses handle, process or sell potentially hazardous foods. This is necessary to maintain safe food handling practices and protect public health.
Some food businesses may use a registered template, and some may use an independent, audited program. Most businesses choose to use the department-developed food safety program template for class two retail and food service businesses.
For further information and template examples, go to Food Safety Victoria.