A food safety programme (FSP) is a written system that identifies the hazards to food within a business. It describes the actions that need to be taken by the food business to control and manage these hazards from food receipt and all the processing activities until it is served or delivered.
The primary purpose of a FSP is to safeguard consumer health and to protect your business. Utilising a simple programme is well worth the effort. In most instances, a documented FSP comprises three parts and will likely formalise your proposed good practices.
The first part includes:
The second part includes a hazard analysis and control plan which describes:
A food safety hazard is a substance or foreign agent that has the potential to cause food to be unsafe, ie. it can cause illness or injury. Hazards can be classified into three main areas listed below
Living organisms like bacteria, viruses and parasites. Specific examples of such organisms include:
Food can become contaminated with unwanted chemicals such as cleaning agents, pesticides, fungicides, fertilisers and veterinary chemicals. For example, food could become contaminated with cleaning agents if care is not taken to store and use the chemicals correctly. Natural toxins can also be found in some products such as green potatoes, fungi, poisonous fish and shellfish.
Food can become contaminated with physical objects such as glass, metal, plastic, insects, adhesive dressings and jewellery. If these things are found in food, they may introduce microbial hazards and may result in physical harm to the consumer, for example, choking, laceration and broken teeth.
The third part describes good hygiene practices such as:
In other words, your food safety programme should document clearly the procedures and practices what you do. In short, to meet minimum requirements a business must have the following programs in place:
A Food Safety Programme is a legal requirement for most food businesses providing food to vulnerable people in Australia, and can protect your business from:
According to Standard 3.2.1 of the Food Standards Code (‘the Code’), Food Safety Programmes in Australia must be based on HACCP concepts, more commonly known as HACCP principles.
‘HACCP’ stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, and is a system developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. It is used worldwide as a means of controlling food safety across many types of food businesses.
The seven principles of HACCP are
You don’t need to pay for a simple food safety programme. There are many free templates available for you to use. Check out the following link as a start: