SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

15 June 2023 08:16 AM | UPDATED 10 months ago

SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program :

SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program Application This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop, implement, and evaluate a food safety program for all stages in the food production process – including receipt, storage, preparation, service, and disposal of food. It requires the ability to determine program requirements and prepare policies and procedures for other personnel to follow. The unit applies to all organisations with permanent or temporary kitchen premises or smaller food preparation areas. This includes restaurants, cafes, clubs, and hotels; tour operators; attractions; function, event, exhibition and conference catering; educational institutions; aged care facilities; correctional centres; hospitals; defence forces; cafeterias, kiosks, canteens, and fast food outlets; residential catering; in-flight and other transport catering. A food safety program would most commonly be based on the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) method, but this unit can apply to other food safety systems. It applies to senior personnel who work independently and who are responsible for making strategic decisions on establishing and monitoring risk control systems for food related hazards. This could include chefs, kitchen managers, catering managers, fast food store managers, and owner-operators of small business catering operations or retail food outlets. In some States and Territories, businesses are required to designate a food safety supervisor who is required to be certified as competent in one or more designated units of competency through a registered training organisation. Food safety legislative and knowledge requirements may differ across borders. Those developing training to support this unit must consult the relevant state or territory food safety authority to determine any accreditation arrangements for courses, trainers, and assessors. Prerequisite SITXFSA005 Use hygienic practices for food safety SITXFSA006 Participate in safe food handling practices Learning goals ·         Assess areas of the organisation that impact food safety. ·         Look at food handling and preparation processes to identify any food hazards. ·         Identify critical control points (CCPs). ·         Look at quality assurance systems for suppliers that deliver foodstuffs. ·         Assess current product specifications for food items prepared and sold. ·         Assess current policies and procedures. ·         Assess monitoring practices and continuous improvements practices. ·         Consult with stakeholders when developing a food safety program. ·         Include regulatory requirements and standards into policies and procedures. ·         Create and documents controls for identified CCPs. ·         Develop corrective action procedures for uncontrolled hazards. ·         Develop systems to monitor controls and record-keeping. ·         Develop and record product specifications for food items prepared and sold. ·         Assess training needs. ·         Develop training programs. ·         Schedule regular reviews of the program. ·         Document program and provide to regulatory authorities as required. ·         Communicate program, policies, procedures and practices to staff. ·         Display required signage. ·         Organise training and mentoring. ·         Monitor staff to ensure they are following processes. ·         Manage actions for incidents of uncontrolled food hazards. ·         Make changes to correct food safety breaches. ·         Maintain documentation. ·         Conduct internal auditing of a food safety program. ·         Assist external auditors when inspecting business. ·         Regularly review programs, policies, procedures, and monitoring systems in consultation with stakeholders. ·         Amend food safety program with changes. ·         Communicate changes to staff. ·         Identify and act on additional training needs based on changes to food safety practices. Fact Sheets ·         Fact Sheet 1 – Following Hygienic Work Practices ·         Fact Sheet 2 – Food Safety Programs ·         Fact Sheet 3 – Food Safety Laws, Regulations and Standards ·         Fact Sheet 4 – Managing Food Safety Hazards and Risks ·         Fact Sheet 5 – Safe Food Handling ·         Fact Sheet 6 – Receiving, Storing and Maintaining Food Overlap alert Learners may already be familiar with the following concepts: ·         cleaning and sanitisation ·         safe food handling ·         hygienic work practices ·         safe food storage ·         food labelling You might consider a brief refresher with an emphasis on applying the existing knowledge and skills in the context of receiving, storing and maintaining stock.

1: Introduction

What is a food safety program and why is it needed?

A food safety program is a process of identifying food safety hazards and developing a plan to control or eliminate those hazards. Most food safety programs follow the HACCP principles. HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points’ and consists of seven principles:

Conduct a hazard analysis
Determine the critical control points (CCPs)
Establish critical limits for each CCP
Establish monitoring systems for each CCP
Establish corrective actions
Establish verification procedures
Establish documentation and record-keeping

HACCP was originally developed in the 1960s by NASA and a group of food safety specialists. It is now a widely accepted process that can be applied to the food production process – including receipt, storage, preparation, service, and disposal of food. It is used to manage food safety to ensure that food is safe to eat.

It is a legal requirement under Standard 3.2.1. of the Food Standards Code that businesses have a food safety program based on the HACCP principles. Standard 3.2.1. of the Food Standards Code allows:

“States and Territories to require food businesses to implement a food safety program based upon the HACCP concepts. The food safety program is to be implemented and reviewed by the food business, and is subject to periodic audit by a suitably qualified food safety auditor.”

Standard 3.2.1. Food safety programs

Food businesses must have a Food Safety Plan as part of their Food Safety Program. This includes documented evidence that:

  • all food preparation steps and activities have been assessed to identify any potential hazards, and
  • when an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) audits the business, they will review the Food Safety Program and all associated records.
Learn more about food safety at the link below. Video: (03:27)

Legislation and regulations

Your food safety program needs to comply with relevant laws and regulations. The main legislation that businesses need to follow is the Food Act 2006. The core purpose of the food act is to ensure that:

  • food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption,
  • there is no misleading behaviour relating to the sale of food, and
  • businesses comply with the Food Standards Code.

This is achieved by providing licences to food premises that have a food safety program and auditing businesses to ensure that they are following the Act and the Food Standards Code.

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ) is an independent legislative agency responsible for food standards. They developed the Australia & New Zealand Food Standards Code (ANZFAC), which sets out rules for food businesses to ensure that food is safe to eat.

The food standard code covers aspects such as:

·         labelling,

·         food additives and genetic modification,

·         food safety,

·         hygiene, and

·         transportation and storage.

Image by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels

Compliance with these laws and regulations are monitored by State and local governments (the Queensland Department of Health and Environmental Health Officers).

To learn more about Food Standards ANZ watch the video below. Video: (02:09) If you have already visited this link, you can move on or review it to refresh your memory.
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In a small group, look up legislation and food safety standards. Discuss the main purpose of these laws and regulations. Website: Website: Your trainer will facilitate the discussion.

Types of hazards

Food hazards are hazards that can cause food to become unsafe to eat. This is due to the food becoming contaminated.

Meaning of ‘contaminant’

‘Contaminant’ refers to any biological, chemical agent or foreign matter, or other substance that may compromise food safety or its suitability.

Meaning of ‘contamination’

‘Contamination’ means the introduction or occurrence of a contaminant in food.

Meaning of ‘potentially hazardous foods’

‘Potentially hazardous foods’ are those that must be kept at certain temperatures to minimise the growth of any pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms that may be present in the food.

A ‘hazard’ is anything in food that may cause harm to customers that consume the food. Hazards can be biological, chemical, or physical. The following table lists the common hazards found in food that cause food to become unsafe to eat.

BiologicalSourcesSuspected food items
Salmonella sppGastro-intestinal tracts of humans and animalsMeat, milk, and egg products
Staphylococcus aureusSkin, hair, nose, and throats of humans and animalsFlour confection, milk and its products, egg products, ham and ready-to-eat foods (such as cooked food, sandwiches, and sushi)
Vibrio parahaemolyticusMarine environment and seafoodRaw and undercooked shellfish
Listeria monocytogenesSoil, faeces of humans and animals, sewage, and greaseRaw milk, soft cheese, poultry, meat and cold dishes (such as salad, coleslaw, and sandwiches)
Norwalk-like virusSewage and shellfishSalad, raw vegetables, and shellfish (such as oysters)
Hepatitis A virusSewage and shellfishShellfish (such as clams and oysters)
Learn more about Listeria by watching the following video. Video: (01:30) This includes information about vulnerable persons.
ChemicalSuspected food items
Prohibited pesticidesLeafy vegetables
Toxins (fish)Coral reef fish
MycotoxinsCorn, nuts/peanuts and their products, cereals, and figs

Image by Laura Arias on Pexels

·         Glass fragments·         Band-Aids·         Pest droppings
·         Dust·         Nails·         Hair
·         Metal fragments·         Bone or animal product 
·         Stones·         Pests 

Temperature danger zone

Food that is between 5°C to 60°C is in a ‘dangerous temperature zone’. This is where the temperature is ideal for microbiological growth, as bacteria rapidly multiply between 20°C and 45°C.

The temperature danger zone, and the two-hour and four-hour rules, are used to control the amount of time that food is within the dangerous temperature zone (5°C to 60°C).

·         Under 2 hours – Food is okay to use or refrigerate at 5°C or less.

·         2-4 hours – Food is okay to use immediately.


Image by Manki Kim on Unsplash

Over 4 hours – Food must be disposed of.

Watch the following video about the temperature danger zone. Video: (01:32) Alternatively, read more information from the links below. The Queensland Government. Website: Food Safety Information Council. Website: If you have already visited these links, you can move on or review them to refresh your memory.

Ideal temperatures

The following table lists the ideal temperatures for areas within the production process:

Food StorageDry store10-20°C
CoolroomBelow 5°C
Food productionNever allow food to enter the danger zone (20 – 45°C)
Food displayKeep hot food above 65°C and cool food below 5°C
Thawing foodRefrigerate at 5°C or below
CookingCook food to a core temperature of 75°C or above for at least 30 seconds
Cooling processed foodCool cooked food from 60°C to 20°C over two hours, and then to 5°C or below over the next four hours
ReheatingHeat food to a core temperature of 75°C or above for at least 30 seconds
TransportingKeep hot food above 65°C and cool food below 5°C
Time for some facts
Look at the following Fact Sheets: ·         Fact Sheet 1 – Following Hygienic Work Practices ·         Fact Sheet 2 – Food Safety Programs ·         Fact Sheet 3 – Food Safety Laws, Regulations and Standards ·         Fact Sheet 4 – Managing Food Safety Hazards and Risks ·         Fact Sheet 5 – Safe Food Handling If you have already looked at these Fact Sheets, you can move on or review them to refresh your memory.

2: Assess business needs

Before developing a food safety program, you must review your current business processes, policies, and procedures, as well as your current food safety plan (to determine its effectiveness at controlling or eliminating the hazards).

HACCP method

When creating a food safety program, follow these 12 steps (which include the seven HACCP principles).

1.       Create a food safety team
2.       Describe the product
3.       Identify its intended use
4.       Create a process flow chart
5.       Verify the flow chart on-site
6.       Conduct a hazard analysis [Principle 1]
7.       Determine the critical control points (CCPs) [Principle 2]
8.       Establish critical limits for each CCP [Principle 3]
9.       Establish monitoring systems for each CCP [Principle 4]
10.    Establish corrective actions [Principle 5]
11.    Establish verification procedures [Principle 6]
12.    Establish documentation and record keeping [Principle 7]

When developing a food safety plan, there are some basic requirements or activities that you must include – such as:

  • cleaning and sanitisation
  • personal hygiene
  • temperature control
  • pest control
  • food storage
  • food handling
  • waste control
  • staff training
  • equipment maintenance
  • customer complaints handling.

Adding these requirements limits potential issues during the food production process. These activities are common support programs used to maintain and manage the identified hazards.

Learn more about HACCP and creating a HACCP plan from Tentamus Group. Video: (02:19)

Let’s look at the main activities above in further detail.

Cleaning and sanitising

Regular scheduled cleaning and sanitation of business premises ensure that visible food waste, dirt, and grease are removed and bacteria and microorganisms are destroyed. This limits cross-contamination and transmission of infectious diseases, to ensure food does not become unsafe or unsuitable.

Image by Liliana Drew on Pexels

Cleaning process:

·         Pre-clean utensils and crockery by scraping off food scraps into waste bins, and rinse with water.

·         Wash with hot water and detergent to remove grease and food residue (soak if needed).

·         Rinse off the detergent.

Sanitising process:

·         Options include:

  • soak items in very hot water (above 75℃ for 30 sec) or diluted bleach
    • saturate items with 70% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
    • use a commercial sanitiser and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

·         Air-dry items.

·         Where possible, remove equipment parts (like stab mixer sticks and slicer blades) when sanitising for best results.

Tips for using bleach:

·         Use plain bleach to minimise the risk of it contaminating items.

·         For cold water, use 100 ppm chlorine (add 10 ml commercial bleach to 10L of water).

·         For warm water, use 50 ppm chlorine (add 5 ml commercial bleach to 10L water).

·         Maintain contact time, which is typically 10–30 seconds – but always check the manufacturer’s instructions.

·         Throw diluted bleach away after 24 hours.

Tips for using the dishwasher:

·         Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

·         Use the right detergent or sanitising chemical.

·         Scrape or rinse off excess food before placing items in the dishwasher.

·         Place items in such a way that water can reach all surfaces.

·         Use the longest, hottest cycle (or the program designed for sanitation).

·         Check that all items are clean and dry when the cycle ends.

·         Use clean hands to unpack the dishwasher.

·         Clean and service the dishwasher regularly (including the filters).

Personal hygiene

Food handlers have a responsibility to maintain personal hygiene practices – such as hand-washing, wearing clean clothes and PPE, and maintaining good personal hygiene practices. Food supervisors and management must supervise and manage staff – as well as provide training, support, and posters to educate staff around the kitchen. This will ensure that everyone practices good hygiene.

To maintain good personal hygiene, you must:

  • wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling food and frequently during work:
    • Dry your hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel, or under an air dryer.
  • wear and wash your uniform and PPE every day:
    • Wear clean, washed clothing and protective clothing, such as an apron.
Image by Mélissa Jeanty on Unsplash

Keep your spare clothes and other personal items (including mobile phones) away from where food is stored and prepared.

  • Change into spare clothing and protective clothing if it becomes contaminated during a service shift.
  • wear disposal gloves and avoid touching food:
    • Change your disposable gloves regularly.
    • Avoid cross-contamination.
  • cook food following SRC and cookery methods.
  • follow hygiene policies and procedures:
    • Bathe daily and keep your skin in good condition.
    • Keep your teeth and mouth clean by brushing twice per day.
    • Tie back or cover long hair.
    • Keep your fingernails short, so that they are easy to clean.
    • Do not wear nail polish, because it can chip into the food.
    • Avoid wearing jewellery or only wear plain-banded rings and sleeper earrings.
  • never smoke, chew gum, spit, change a baby’s nappy, or eat in a food handling or food storage area.
  • completely cover all cuts and wounds with a wound strip or bandage:
    • Use blue-coloured waterproof bandages, which are recommended for visibility.
    • Wear disposable gloves over the top of the wound strip, if you have wounds on your hands.
  • advise your supervisor if you feel unwell and don’t handle food:
    • Never cough or sneeze over food or where food is being prepared or stored.
  • report unsafe practices.

Pest control

Regular pest inspections must be conducted and recorded by staff through stock maintenance procedures, as well as professional pest inspections and reports.

Your business must:

  • have appropriate requirements for screens and eliminate cracks, holes, and dampness – to keep vermin out of premises.
  • keep areas clean through a cleaning schedule. If something is not clean – for example, if there is a flour spill on the floor – it must be cleaned immediately.
  • maintain and clean rubbish bins regularly, as they can cause health and hygiene issues, attract vermin, and create bad smells.
  • check stores regularly for any signs of pests – such as droppings, holes in packaging, and animal smells and sounds.

To reduce the risk of pests, make sure that you:

  • do not store food on the floor
  • seal all holes and cracks in storage areas
  • check that all windows and doors have intact insect screens
  • dispose of rubbish regularly
  • keep accurate records of pest control and inspections
  • use professional pest maintenance programs.

Waste disposal

Any contaminated food must be disposed of immediately, so that it does not spread spores that will increase the probability of food contamination in the same area. Mould and yeast will also contaminate foods. You must prevent spores from these microorganisms from spreading from one food to another. It is also important to empty, clean, and sanitise internal bins nightly (and outside bins weekly).

Image by Nancy Hughes on Unsplash

Staff training

You must conduct staff training to help food handlers gain a better understanding of how food can become contaminated, as well as how they can avoid foodborne illnesses through proper food handling procedures.

Each food business must decide what training their food handlers need. They do this by identifying the areas of their work most likely to affect food hygiene and safety. All staff must then understand the business’ policies and procedures to ensure that they can comply with them.

Some examples of staff training for food safety include the:

  • main factors contributing to outbreaks of foodborne illnesses,
  • temperature control of potentially hazardous foods, and
  • proper ways of using equipment – such as how to calibrate a thermometer and knowledge of handling, cooking, and storage equipment.

Some examples of food hygiene training could include developing skills and knowledge around:

  • maintaining good personal hygiene,
  • cleaning and sanitising, and
  • pest control.

Businesses should identify the training needs of each staff member and keep the training records of those individual staff members. Training needs should be reviewed regularly and should be assessed against roles and responsibilities, existing skills, experience, and previous training.

Food storage

Incorrectly stored food can spoil or become contaminated, which can then cause illness. The process of taking delivery of stock and appropriately storing, rotating and maintaining the quality of stocked items in optimal conditions minimises wastage and avoids food contamination.

Time for some facts
Look at the following Fact Sheet: ·         Fact Sheet 6 – Receiving, Storing and Maintaining Food If you have already looked at this Fact Sheet you can move on or review it again to refresh your memory.
Learn more about temperature checks and the tolerance for safe handling by watching the following video. Video: (10:25) If you have already completed this activity, you do not need to do it again.
Learn more about food safety culture watch the following. Video: (02:41) If you have already completed this activity, you do not need to do it again.

Customer complaints

You must be careful and receptive in your approach to customer complaints. They can help address any possible gaps during food preparation or in your food safety program. Investigate complaints thoroughly and seriously, and make adjustments to your policies and procedures as required.

To do this, you should:

  • create a ‘complaints handling’ procedure;
  • record the complaint in detail – including the date, problem identified, customer details and steps taken to resolve the issue; and
  • Undertake a thorough review and implement solutions.

·         The main elements that contribute to foodborne illnesses are:

  • Microbiological contamination, through:
    • use of unsafe food sources,
    • cross-contamination, or
    • infected food handlers.
  • Survival or growth of food poisoning microorganisms, through:
    • insufficient cooking times or temperatures, or
    • storage of food in the temperature danger zone via incorrect thawing, reheating, or handling of leftovers.
Learn more about food complaints below. Video: (00:57) If you have already completed this activity, you do not need to do it again.

Equipment maintenance

It is important to have regularly scheduled maintenance of your equipment, to ensure that it is in good working order. You should also make sure that equipment is clean, sanitised, and used in the safe manner instructed by the manufacturer.

Quality assurance systems for suppliers that deliver foodstuffs

The products that are used to produce food items in the food industry need to be of good quality and have no contamination. For this to occur, suppliers need systems in place to ensure that they follow food safety processes.

Quality assurance systems for suppliers reduce the risk of unsafe food. Most businesses will only receive products that have HACCP accreditation. However, you must check and record supplier quality at every delivery. If there is a breach, such as damaged or contaminated products, you should place the supplier on an ‘unqualified’ supplier list.

Only use suppliers that provide good quality products and practise food safety.

Choice of equipment and chemicals

Your food safety program will affect what cleaning, sanitising, and pest control equipment and materials are used in your business.

The food safety program needs to ensure that:

·         any chemicals or pest control are safe for food handling areas,

·         training is undertaken (if required),

·         levels or dilution of chemicals are correct (as listed on the SDS),

·         procedures and policies associated with pests and chemicals are in place,

·         there is documentation to support the processes as required, and

·         the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.

Chemicals and pest control need to state that they are suitable to use in food preparation areas. This information will be on the label, Safety Data Sheet (SDS), or in other manufacturer documentation. This includes any chemicals that could contaminate food, surfaces, or food storage areas – such as pest control sprays, baits, detergents, hand sanitisers, and general cleaning products.

You must train staff on how to use chemicals safely and maintain training records. This is crucial because training is part of compliance when a food safety auditor assesses your food safety program.

Cleaning and sanitising food preparation areas and equipment is also a requirement:

Cleaning – Removes food scraps, dirt, and grease. This is generally done by washing with hot water and detergent, and then rinsing.
Sanitising – Kills bacteria and microorganisms, usually with very hot water, alcohol, bleach, or commercial sanitiser. This is best done using a commercial dishwasher.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Developing the food safety program

After reviewing and assessing your business and its food safety process, it is time to create or update a food safety plan to ensure that:

·         the business complies with legislation, and

·         all potential hazards are controlled.

Consultation and communication

It is important to consult and communicate with stakeholders when developing a food safety program, as stakeholders can offer further insight into food safety.

Stakeholders could include:

  • staff who work in the kitchen and are aware of the hazards and food handling procedures
  • management who are aware of laws and regulations
  • procurement team members who know the suppliers that have not had any returns due to contamination, damage, or temperature issues
  • third-party consultants who specialise in food safety programs and can help validate your food safety plan, ensuring that it will pass an audit.

Methods of consultation could include:

·         team meetings

·         surveys

·         suggestion boxes

·         information sessions

·         training sessions

·         signs


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SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

paid third-party consultation.

HACCP team

When creating the food safety plan, you need to implement a HACCP team. They will ensure that it is:

  • implemented,
  • monitored,
  • improved over time, and
  • that hazards are reduced, controlled, and validated.

The food safety team are responsible for:

·         creating or updating the food safety program,

·         reviewing and monitoring the program,

·         taking any corrective actions required,

·         verifying the program by conducting audits and third-party consultations,

·         assisting health inspectors during inspections,

·         handling food safety complaints,

·         identifying staff training requirements,

·         organising training (if needed),

·         holding food safety meetings,

·         continually improving the food safety program, and

·         maintain all food safety program records.

Others who are part of the HACCP process include:

  • Managers or heads of departments who ensure that the food safety program is created and maintained. They receive progress and update reports from the food safety team leader.
  • The procurement team who purchase supplies. They must keep an up-to-date record of the suppliers. All suppliers must comply with food standards and have a food safety program. Their role also consists of mitigating risk and evaluating the risks and quality of products received. They may have an approved supplier list and an unqualified supplier record for suppliers who breach quality expectations – such as via contamination, damage, or product outside of temperature safe zones.

Business products and intended use (product specifications)

You need to review the products and the intended use of products within your business to ensure that all areas are controlled.

For example, if you produce a vegan or vegetarian dish, you must ensure that during the production process, no animal products come into contact with the ingredients of the final product. You achieve this with systematic policies and procedures in the receipt, storage, preparation, cooking, and serving processes.

To assist with this part of the food safety plan, you must review all the Standard Recipe Cards (SRCs) and review all dishes (and ingredients for dishes) created at the premises.

Image by Kampus Production on Pexels

Process flow chart

To allow easy identification of the Critical Control Points (CCPs), create a process flow chart. This breaks down the steps in the production process to review each step in detail.

The following diagram is a basic example of a typical hospitality business flow chart.

Supplied by Food standards Agency MyHACCP, Process flow diagram,

Each step is then identified as a CCP, and hazards need to be identified from each CCP. You may identify additional steps during the verification process that need to be added. The verification process could be as simple as observing the processes within the back of house and in consultation with staff and management.

Learn more about process flow diagrams from the Food Standards Agency. Website: If you have already visited this link, you can move on or review it to refresh your memory.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

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In a small group, create a process flow chart that would be typical for a food business. Share your results with the class. Your trainer will facilitate the discussion by giving an example. Discuss why flow charts are an important process in the HACCP.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Legislation and regulations

During this assessment phase, you need to review the legislation and standards associated with the food safety program. You also need to ensure that those laws and regulations are integrated into the food safety plan.

The food safety plan needs to cover food safety standards, such as:

  • purchasing and receiving food
  • food storage
  • food processing – including thawing frozen food, preparing food, cooking food, cooling and freezing food, and reheating prepared food
  • serving and displaying food
  • packaging and transporting food
  • cleaning and sanitising
  • recording temperatures
  • time controls
  • pest control
  • waste disposal
  • personal hygiene
  • maintenance
  • food recalls.

The above standards need to have accompanying policies and procedures within the food safety program to ensure that you are compliant with the standards.

Policies and procedures

Some of the general policies and procedures that relate to the food safety program include:

  • hand washing
  • cleaning
  • food storage labelling
  • receiving supplies
  • the FIFO principle
  • correct defrosting
  • reheating
  • preventing cross-contamination
  • use of colour-coded equipment.
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In a small group, review a hand washing procedure. Decide what legislation, regulation, or part of the food safety program the procedure would fit into and why. Your trainer will facilitate the discussion by giving an example. Discuss the importance of policies and procedures to assist in assessing the food safety plan and business’ food safety needs.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

3: Develop a food safety program

After you have put together the HACCP team, created the process flow chart, and identified the products that your business produces, you need to identify the potential hazards in the business by conducting a hazard analysis.

Hazard analysis

The process of hazard analysis identifies any potential hazards through risk analysis of the food premises and production process. It determines the means for those hazards to be controlled or eliminated.

Once a hazard has been identified, preventive measures and control/critical limits need to be set. When a product is under these limits, it is still safe. If it goes over the limit, it is no longer safe. A hazard analysis also states ways to monitor hazards and contingencies, as well as corrective actions that can be taken with each identified hazard. If a hazard exceeds the control limit, it states what the process is to dispose of it or correct it.

Accurate records are a legal requirement. The records must demonstrate the identified hazards, any actions taken, as well as the monitoring processes – such as additional supporting documents.

These include:

  • customer complaints records
  • temperature logs
  • waste reports
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SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

pest inspection reports

  • staff training records.

Critical Control Points (CCPs)

A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a point in the food preparation process where hazards can be reduced, eliminated, or prevented. They are points that are common in the food production process that have a high risk of causing a food hazard.

Typically these areas are related to:

  • receipt,
  • storage,
  • processing (preparing, cooking, reheating, or chilling),
  • display,
  • packaging, and
  • transportation.

The following table lists potential methods of control for common CCPs in a food production business.

CCPMethod of control
Purchasing and receiving food·         Checking supplier records ·         Ensuring supplier HACCP ·         Undertaking temperature checks ·         Undertaking quality checks at delivery (damage, used-by-dates, cleanliness, and spoilage)
Storage·         Using the FIFO principle ·         Labelling correctly ·         Undertaking regular storage area checks for cleanliness, pests, and spoilage ·         Checking temperature ·         Maintaining equipment ·         Setting cleaning schedules
Thawing frozen food·         Defrosting in a sealed, covered, and airtight container in a separate section of the coolroom ·         Making sure food is completely thawed before cooking ·         Using once defrosted – disposing of if within the temperature danger zone of 5°C and 60°C for more than four hours
Preparing food·         Cleaning and sanitising food preparation areas and equipment ·         Ensuring staff hygiene and hand washing ·         Inspecting ingredients for quality and stock rotation ·         Inspecting the cleanliness of the food preparation area and equipment ·         Using a colour-coded system ·         Washing ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables ·         Using the two-hour/four-hour rule
Cooking food·         Checking temperature ·         Using the two-hour/four-hour rule ·         Using a colour-coded system ·         Using Standard Recipe Cards (SRCs)
Cooling and freezing food·         Cooling food from 60°C to 21°C within two hours, and then  to 5°C or colder within the next four hours ·         Using correct labelling and the FIFO system
Reheating prepared food·         Checking labels for used-by dates ·         Ensuring that food reaches 75°C
Serving and displaying food·         Cleaning and sanitising food equipment and display areas ·         Undertaking temperature checks ·         Labelling correctly ·         Disposing of hot food if it gets below 60°C for more than four hours ·         Disposing of cool food if it gets above 5°C for more than four hours
Packaging and transporting food·         Labelling correctly ·         Storing in appropriate containers away from other contaminates ·         Checking temperature
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Preventive measures and their control limits

A critical limit is a maximum or minimum value to which a food safety hazard must be controlled. Critical limit guidelines are usually set by government regulators. If a hazard exceeds its critical limit, corrective action must be taken. Corrective actions are either immediate or preventative.

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In a small group, conduct a hazard analysis and identify CCPs. From one of the hazards, develop a control measure and create corrective and monitoring processes for the hazard. Your trainer will provide an example and a template to complete this activity.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Monitoring procedures

Monitoring control limits will ensure that any hazard that has reached its critical limit can be identified. This will allow corrective actions to be taken before the product becomes unsafe. Methods should be as simple as possible.

Examples of monitoring procedures could include, but are not limited to:

  • ensuring that cooking temperature and time are outside the danger zone
  • checking used-by dates and stock rotation
  • checking the cleanliness of equipment and work surfaces
  • inspecting incoming food ingredients.

Clear and easy-to-understand instructions for control and monitoring procedures should be developed for staff to refer to. This could include:

  • What is to be checked? For example, “the cooking temperature”
  • How is it checked? For example, “use a thermometer to measure temperature”
  • When is it checked? For example, “measure once every half hour”
  • Who does the check? For example, “the kitchen hand”

Corrective actions

Contingencies are backup plans. For every identified potential hazard, you must create a plan on how to correct that hazard if and when it happens.

These are actions that are taken to correct or control identified hazards. They must be recorded and evaluated to ensure effectiveness.


Your food safety program needs to be evaluated to make sure that it works – covering all potential food hazards and risks – and is compliant with the relevant laws and regulations. Evaluations can be done formally or informally.

  • Formal evaluations would be in the form of an audit.
  • Informal evaluations would be staff and the food safety team reviewing processes – providing input and ideas to improve the program.

Documentation and records

Comprehensive and up-to-date records must be kept for any hazard, as well as any details of any corrective actions taken. These records are kept together as a living document called a Food Safety Plan which forms part of the food safety program.

Below are some of the required records and what their part is within the food safety program.

  • Audit reports – The process of conducting regular audits to ensure that the food safety management system complies with relevant laws and regulations and is effective in ensuring that food is safe to eat.
  • Audit tables – These provide a more detailed description of each section of the audit report.
  • Customer complaint forms – These allow you to identify errors in the control process and revaluate those areas within the food safety program.
  • Food flow diagrams – These show each step in the process of producing food. This helps you to identify points that could be potentially hazardous and create both controls and preventive measures for each step.
  • Food production records – These state the ingredients and equipment needed, any special considerations (such as allergen), and preparation and cooking requirements. They are procedures for how to create dishes in a safe manner, which will generate the same outcome every time.
  • Hazard analysis tables – These are used to regulate how you will control each of your Critical Control Points. For each CCP, you will need to determine and document:
    • the critical limit,
    • how you will monitor it,
    • what to do if you exceed the critical limit, and
    • how you will record your CCP findings.
  • Incident reports – These allow you to identify areas in the food safety program that are not under control and need to have corrective measures and monitoring processes created.

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  • Policies, procedures, and product specifications
    • Policies are guidelines to ensure that the business is following legal and regulatory requirements, so that products and services are safe for consumption.
    • Procedures are the step-by-step processes created to ensure that the task is performed safety and hygienically every time.
    • Product specifications describe the product and what is needed to create it. They are critical for allergen safety.
  • Hazard control monitoring records – These are used to document the process of food safety within the business. They ensure that all staff are following the food safety program and that preventative measures for all critical control points are being followed. They include:
    • any record required by local legislation,
    • illness register,
    • list of suppliers,
    • temperature control data, and
    • training logs.
  • Verification records – These are the processes that identify if the food safety program is working. They test the effectiveness of the control measures and identify areas that need improvement.

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In a small group, complete Section 6 (Hazard Audit Table) from the Food Safety Program Template provided in the student resources. Choose one CCP and identify three potential hazards. For the hazards, complete the: control measurescritical limitsmonitoring procedurescorrective actionsverification proceduressupporting programs. Your trainer will provide an example and the template to complete the activity.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

High-risk groups that affect the food safety program

Some groups are at greater risk of food-borne illnesses. These include:

  • children or babies
  • pregnant women
  • aged persons
  • people with immune deficiencies
  • people with allergies
  • people with medical conditions.

Someone in a high-risk group is known as a “vulnerable person”. They have a higher chance of becoming ill or suffering more serious impacts from food poisoning, including life-threatening complications.

When preparing food for a vulnerable person, all staff must follow food safety best practices to prevent food contamination, illness, and disease. Ensure that staff:

  • use colour-coded equipment and utensils,
  • store and label food correctly, and
  • receive high-risk food and ingredients only from approved suppliers.

The Food Standards Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ) has implemented standard 3.3.1. for businesses that prepare food for vulnerable persons.

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In a small group, discuss experiences of when an audit was conducted at your business and what happened during the audit. Your trainer will facilitate the discussion by giving an example.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Breach consequences

If an Environmental Health Officer finds that your business is in breach of food safety laws and regulations, they can:

·         give a verbal or written warning to correct the issue and arrange another inspection;

·         provide an improvement or infringement notice (where the business must pay a fine and fix the issue);

·         suspend or cancel the licence (where the business closes and needs to correct the issue before it can re-open or apply for another licence); or

·         take legal action against the business.

To learn more about developing a food safety program and some examples of a food safety program, visit: General Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of a Food Safety Program – NSW Food Authority. Website: Food Safety Quality Management System – International Food Safety & Quality Network. Website: Sample Food Safety Plan – Rhode Island Department of Health. Website: How to implement a food safety system – Hygiene Food Safety. Website: How to implement a Food Safety Plan – Centre for Food Safety. Website: If you have already visited these links, you can move on or review them to refresh your memory.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

4: Implement the food safety program

Having developed a food safety program, you now need to implement it. You will need to:

·         communicate the food safety program, policies, procedures, and support documentation to all relevant staff;

·         identify whether training is required; and

·         monitor and manage the program to ensure that it is working and correct any issues identified.


All staff must be informed about the food safety program – as well as the support programs, documentation, policies, and procedures associated with it. The staff completing the tasks will be able to provide input on the food safety program’s processes and assist in ensuring that implemented program works.

Methods to communicate changes or new systems could include, but are not limited to:

  • staff training
  • team meetings
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SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program


  • noticeboard
  • manager mentoring and supervision.

Staff training

Supervisors and/or managers should identify if there are any gaps in staff knowledge and skills, and review feedback from customers and other staff. Staff must be trained and have the skills and knowledge to provide safe food handling practices.

Training records must be kept for each staff member, and if unsafe practices are identified, the staff member must be trained correctly. This will ensure that the food safety program is followed and food is safe for consumption.

Policies and procedure

When implementing the food safety program, there may be changes to current policies or procedures – or there may be a new policy or procedure that all staff must be made aware of. This is usually done during the communication process.

Managing incidents

If an incident occurs, it needs to be evaluated to identify if it was due to:

·         lack of staff knowledge or skills,

·         a breach in compliance, or

·         something being missed during the development process of the food safety program.

Depending on the findings, the issue must be corrected and documented.

Corrective actions

It is the responsibility of the food safety team to correct any breach or incident within the food safety program. The food safety program will state the process that must be taken when an incident occurs. All corrective actions taken must be documented as part of the document management and improvement process.

Examples of corrective actions could be to:

  • Reheat the food until its core temperature reaches at least 75°C for 30 seconds (if the cooking temperature was inadequate).
  • Adjust or repair the chiller if its temperature is higher than 4oC.
  • Clean equipment again if it is dirty.
  • Maintain monitoring records – such as temperature records of the freezer – to help assess if preventive measures are satisfactory and efficient.

Document management

All records must be kept up to date and be an accurate reflection of the food safety program as required by law. Any hazards, preventive measures, critical/control limits, corrective actions, and monitoring processes – as well as policies and procedures relevant to food safety – must be kept together and provided to the Environmental Health Officer during audits and inspections.


Once you have your food safety program approved, the local council will set an audit schedule. This is when you can get a third-party auditor to inspect and audit your food safety program. They will provide you with a report that can then be provided to your local council.

Audits ensure that your food safety program complies with the required legislation and ensures that food does not become unsafe or unsuitable to consume. Different types include internal, third-party, and government audits.

Environmental Health Officers are part of the local council. Their role is to inspect businesses to ensure that they are conducting safe food practices and complying with the Food Safety Act 2006 and the standards of the Food Standards Australia & New Zealand Act 1991.

The local government may also investigate breaches reported by customers and conduct audits of a business. For new businesses, this is usually done twice a year. Subsequent audits can then be done more often (up to four times a year) or less often, depending on the results of the initial audit.

5: Monitor, assess and improve the program

You have developed and implemented the food safety program. Now you need to monitor, assess, and improve the program where required:

  • Conduct regular reviews in consultation with reverent stakeholders.
  • Validate food safety controls.
  • Review policies and procedures, product specifications, monitoring systems, and record-keeping processes (updating as required).
  • Communicate any amendments made to the food safety program.
  • Identify and organise additional training requirements needed, based on the changes made.

To ensure that your food safety program is working, you should perform a methodical and regular check, such as a self-inspection checklist, once a week. Having a checklist will assist you to determine areas in your process that require improvements. The food safety program should also be reviewed at least once a year, as processes and or products may change. If a monitoring procedure reveals a loss of control, you must take corrective actions immediately.

Methods for monitoring

Once you have identified hazards and created critical limited and corrective action, you need to develop methods to monitor those hazards. Monitoring documents help ensure that the hazard is being controlled and can help identify if it needs corrective actions.

Monitoring documents include:

  • temperature logs
  • pest inspection reports
  • personal hygiene checklists
  • cleaning schedules
  • cleaning checklists
  • coolroom temperature checklists
  • risk analysis
  • stock inventory
  • labelling
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SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

incident reports

  • customer complaints.

Other food safety monitoring techniques can include:

  • Bacterial swabs and counting – Swabbing can be done by the business or food environmental officer to determine the number of bacteria or microorganisms present. It can be done on food preparation surfaces, equipment, and utensils. It is used to see if the cleaning and sanitisation are working.
  • Checking and recording that food is stored for appropriate timeframes – Monitoring deliveries and checking temperatures of all incoming chilled and frozen foods. This will ensure that they are within temperature tolerances and that items are placed into storage quickly. Temperature, date, time of arrival, time completed, and any corrective actions needed should be recorded on the receipt of goods forms.
  • Chemical tests – Testing to determine the safety of food products. There are many types of tests, with some being advanced and costly.
  • Monitoring and recording food temperatures – Using a temperature measuring device accurate to plus or minus one degree Celsius
  • Using many different thermometers –  Ensuring that the temperature recordings are correct (on the refrigerator, probe, and digital displays). Thermometers should be calibrated regularly to ensure that they are working correctly and replaced if not working correctly.
  • Monitoring and recording temperature of cold and hot storage equipment – Checking that both hot and cold storage temperatures are correct and recorded. ‘Hot’ must be above 60°C and ‘cold’ must be below 5°C.
  • Examining received goods for quality on arrival – Includes checking stores regularly for any food spoilage. Ensure that the FIFO principle is being used, labels are correct, areas are clean, and storage is at optimum conditions.
  • Checking food during preparation – Ensuring quality before presenting to the customer.
  • Disposing of spoiled or contaminated food – Throwing away and recording on waste record form.

Support programs

Support programs are those designed to assist with monitoring the CCPs and identified hazards. They are usually associated with policies and/or procedures.

Support programs for the food safety program can include:

  • Approved supplier program – Includes policies and procedures, such as approved supplier records, unqualified supplier records, purchasing records, and receiving temperature logs.
  • Good food handling practices – Includes policies and procedures, such as personal hygiene policy, hand washing practices, no-touch techniques, and use of colour coding equipment and utensils.
  • Cleaning and sanitation – Includes cleaning schedules and checklists, use of food safety chemicals, staff training, and use of chemicals.
  • Pest control program – Includes pest inspection reports and pest control records.
  • Personal hygiene program – Includes policies and procedures for unwell employees, dress standards, personal hygiene checklists, and hand washing.
  • Staff training program – Includes training records, and implementing staff training for new policies and procedures.
  • Calibration program – Includes regular checks of thermometers to ensure that temperature logs are correct.
  • Food storage program – Includes the FIFO principle, labelling, stock control, maintenance and cleaning schedules, pest inspections, and food spoilage waste reports.
  • Internal audit program – As required by law.
  • Temperature control – Includes use of temperature logs, thermometer calibration, not overfilling fridges/coolrooms and freezers, and stock control.
  • Waste control – Includes cleaning schedules, waste reports, the FIFO principle, labelling, and pest inspections.
  • Handling customer complaints – Includes the process to handle complaints and corrective action procedures.
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In a small group, create a support program for one of the hazards identified in Section 6 of the Food Safety Program Template. Support programs can be in the form of a procedure or a form for staff to complete to monitor the identified hazard. Your trainer will provide an example and the template to complete the activity.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Now it’s time to put together everything you have learned in this unit and develop a food safety program. Complete the activity below.

Your trainer will now spend some time making sure that you are ready for assessment. They will walk you through all the steps of creating a complete food safety program, which you will do as part of your assessment. Make sure that you are comfortable with the following steps: Create and work in a HACCP team.Develop the scope and purpose of the food safety program.Describe the products produced and their intended use.Create a process flow chart.Conduct a hazard analysis.Conduct a hazard audit table.Create relevant policies and procedures.Create forms to monitor hazards.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Let it simmer
Reflect on the activity you just completed and think about: what you did well,what you could improve on, andwhat you would do differently next time.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Add the completed Food Safety Program to your Chef’s Toolbox.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Definitions 4-hour/2-hour storage rule means the temperature control specified in the Food Standards Code. Where potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food has been kept between 5°C and 60°C for:up to 2 hours – it can be refrigerated or used immediately;between 2 and 4 hours – it must be used immediately; and4 hours or more – it must be disposed of.2-hour/4-hour cooling rule means the requirement to cool cooked food:within two hours ‒ from 60°C to 21°C; andwithin four hours ‒ from 21°C to 5°C.Allergen means a naturally occurring substance within a food that might cause an abnormal immune response in a susceptible person.Allergy means the symptoms produced by a reaction to an allergen. Allergic reactions to foods vary greatly from nausea and mild skin rashes, through to possible life-threatening asthma and anaphylaxis.Cleaning means removing visible contamination – such as food waste, dirt, and grease from a surface (usually with water and detergent). Cook chill ‒ Extended Shelf Life (ESL) means food that is given a cooking process of 90°C for 10 minutes. This process provides a refrigerated shelf life of more than 10 days.Cook chill ‒ Short Shelf Life (SSL) means a food given a cooking process of 70°C for 2 minutes. This process provides a refrigerated shelf life of no more than 10 days at ≤ 5°C, including the days of production and consumption.Food Standards Code means the Australian & New Zealand Food Standards Code – the requirements that control the composition, level of contaminants, and labelling of the food supply.Monitor means checking, observing, or supervising to maintain control.Potentially hazardous food means food that has to be kept at certain temperatures to minimise the growth of any pathogenic microorganisms that may be present in the food, or prevent the formation of toxins in the food, including:raw and cooked meats, or foods containing raw or cooked meat;dairy products and foods containing dairy products;seafood and foods containing seafood;processed fruits and vegetables;cooked rice and pasta; andfoods containing eggs, beans, or other protein-rich foods. Process means the activity to prepare food for sale – including chopping, cooking, drying, fermenting, heating, pasteurising, thawing and washing, or a combination of these activities.Ready-to-eat means food that is ready for consumption, but includes food that may be reheated, portioned, or garnished or food that undergoes similar finishing before service.Sanitise means a process that destroys microorganisms so that the numbers of microorganisms present on a surface are reduced. Sanitising is the process of using a commercially available sanitiser chemical and/or the application of heat.Shelf life means the length of time up to which food remains safe and suitable for consumption.Shelf-stable means non-perishable food with a shelf life of many months (or even years). It refers to unopened canned, bottled, or packaged food products that can be stored before opening at room temperature. These foods may require refrigeration after opening.Vulnerable person means a person who is in care in a facility or a client of a delivered meals organisation.
SITXFSA008 Develop and implement a food safety program

Chef’s Toolbox

Use these pages to record recipes, tips and useful resources to add to your Fact Sheets so, at the end of your course, you have a set of references that you can take with you into the workforce.


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