FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 1
Before you start a food business
Prior to commencing operation of a food premises it is recommended that you speak to Council’s Health and Environmental Services,
Town Planning and Engineering departments to find out what you need in regard to Health, Planning, Building, Plumbing and Trade
Health and Environmental Services will give you a comprehensive document regarding the specifications for the setup of a food
premises, which outlines everything you are required to do. Once you have plans put together they will need to be lodged with Town
Planning and Engineering as well as Health and Environmental Services for approval. Once approval has been granted from Health
and Environmental Services and Town Planning and Engineering Building Certifier you may commence building or fit out of your food
premises. When this has been completed a final inspection from Health and Environmental Services and Town Planning and
Engineering will be required.
Once all approvals have been granted, and you have received your certificate for Food Licence, you may commence operation of your
What you must submit to Bowen Shire Council
– Health and Environmental Services
Application for Food License form including
• Site Plans (not less than 1:100) listing details of correct situation of property and real property description;
• Floor Plans (not less than 1:50) listing details of layout for all benches, basins and equipment storage;
• Sectional Elevation (not less than 1:25) to indicate details of finishes to walls, floors, ceilings, benches and storage.
• Mechanical Exhaust Ventilation Plan (not less than 1:50) including all operational specifications.
• Transport Vehicle Plan (not less than 1:50) including layout of all the equipment, fixtures and fittings and the types of
• Full explanation of selected box/es in the Suitability of person to hold a licence section (if applicable).
Two copies of each of these plans are required. One will be stamped and returned with any conditions of approval. The other copy
will be retained by the Environmental Health Officer for future reference.
Health compliance search
If you are purchasing an existing food premises, it is recommended that you have a health compliance search done. A health
compliance search will tell you:
• What permits are current for the premises;
• If there are any health fees associated with these permits that are outstanding;
• If there are any outstanding requisitions from previous inspections;
• If there are any structural requirements on the premises.
Additional Points - Starting a Food Business
• Prior to starting a food business, it is important that you contact Council’s Health and Environmental Services department
to determine what requirements you will need to comply with both prior to and during the operation of your business.
• The operator of the food business must have received the certificate of Food Licence prior to commencing business.
• If you are considering purchasing an existing business, it is recommended that you have a health compliance search
before finalising the sale.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 2
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a food handler have to wear gloves?
A food handler is not legally required to wear gloves. However a food handler is obliged to protect the food that they are handling from
contamination. This can be achieved through regular hand washing or the use of an antibacterial hand gel or by the use of gloves. If gloves are to be
worn, they must be used correctly ie: changed when they become contaminated or change of task. (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 5)
At what temperature must food be stored?
All potentially hazardous foods must be stored under temperature control.
• Cold potentially hazardous food must be stored at or below 5°C
• Hot potentially hazardous foods must be kept at or above 60°C
This includes potentially hazardous food stored on display for sale ie: in a bain marie, pie warmer or cake cabinet. Frozen potentially hazardous
foods must be kept frozen (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 7)
Where do I get a probe thermometer?
A probe thermometer can be purchased from most wholesalers, catering suppliers, kitchenware stores and electronic retailers.
A probe thermometer must be used to check the temperatures of potentially hazardous foods and is legally required in all licensed food premises.
Do delivery vans have to be licensed?
Food delivery vans are not required to be licensed / registered specifically for food handling as they generally only handle prepackaged foods and do
not process them in any way. However food delivery vans are still required to ensure that potentially hazardous foods are kept under temperature
control and that all food is protected from contamination.
What should I do when selling/buying a food business?
If you are looking to sell a food business you should ensure that your food license are up to date and that there are no outstanding requisitions or
fees on your business.
If you are buying a food business, you should have a health compliance search conducted on the business you are proposing to buy. The health
compliance search will advise you of any outstanding requisitions and fees as well as any structural defects that are required to be fixed to bring the
food business up to an acceptable standard.
Additional Points - Frequently Asked Questions
• Gloves are not the only acceptable method of protecting food from contamination. The use of an antibacterial hand gel and
regular hand washing are also acceptable.
• Potentially hazardous foods must be stored either at or below 5°C or at or above 60°C.
• Probe thermometers can be purchased from most wholesalers, catering suppliers, kitchen goods shops and electronic stores.
• Delivery vans are not required to be licensed / registered specifically for food handling however they are still responsible for
ensuring potentially hazardous food is kept under temperature control and that all food is protected from contamination.
• When looking to buy a food business a health compliance search should be done prior to purchase.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 3
Clothes, Uniforms and Aprons
The purpose of aprons / uniforms is to protect the food from you. For this reason it is important that:
• All clothes are clean each day / shift;
• Aprons are changed if they become excessively dirty or have the potential to contaminate food;
• Aprons / uniforms are not worn outside the work area ie: to work, washing out bins, going to toilet.
Hair is contaminated with Staphylococcus bacteria. For this reason it is important that:
• Long hair is tied back so that it is not necessary to touch or push out of the way;
• Hair, including the fringe, is confined under a hair net or cap so it cannot be touched or fall into food
should hair fall out.
Jewellery has the potential to contaminate food in 2 ways - physically by all or part of the jewellery falling into the food
or biologically as jewellery is difficult to clean. For this reason it is important that:
• Hand jewellery is kept to a minimum ie: plain wedding band;
• All other jewellery be well secured ie: necklaces under shirts, earrings have a strong catch;
• It is recommended that watches be removed whilst preparing food to assist with effective hand
washing of the wrists.
Fingernails have the potential to contaminate food physically by the nail or polish falling into food or biologically due to
ineffective cleaning. For this reason it is important that:
• No artificial nails are worn in a food preparation area;
• No nail polish be worn on fingernails;
• Fingernails are kept short to facilitate easy cleaning.
Additional Points - Personal Attire
• Aprons are to be worn during food preparation in a food preparation area only and are to be changed
each shift and as they become excessively dirty.
• Long hair should be tied back and all hair should be covered with a cap or a hair net.
• Jewellery should be kept to a minimum with only a plain wedding band to be worn on the hand with all
other jewellery being well concealed or with strong catches.
• Fingernails should be kept short with no polish and no artificial nails.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 4
Hand Washing Facilities
It is important to have the correct facilities for hand washing to ensure that hands are able to be washed effectively. To
achieve this you must ensure:
• The hand wash basin is dedicated to hand washing only;
• Warm running water is provided from a single outlet preferably with flip taps;
• Soap, preferably liquid is supplied at all times;
• Single use disposable paper towel is supplied at all times;
• There is a back up supply of soap and paper towel.
When to Wash Hands
Hands should be washed whenever they are likely to be a source of contamination of food including:
• Before starting or recommencing work;
• Before working with ready-to-eat food and after handling raw food;
• After smoking;
• After coughing / sneezing;
• After using a handkerchief or nasal tissue;
• After eating or drinking;
• After touching hair / scalp / skin or body opening;
• After touching any other item that may contaminate food ie: waste.
Method of Washing Hands
Wet hands with warm water
Lather hands with soap
Scrub hands well including palms, thumbs, wrists and between fingers
Rinse with warm water
Dry thoroughly with disposable paper towel
Additional Points – Hand Washing
• All hand wash basins must be dedicated hand wash basins and be supplied with liquid soap and
disposable paper towel at all times.
• Hands must be washed whenever they are likely to be a source of contamination for food ie: before
starting work and after smoking, eating, drinking, coughing, sneezing, using a nasal tissue, going to
the toilet, after touching skin, scalp, body opening etc.
• Hands should be washed by wetting with warm water, lathering and scrubbing with soap, rinsing with
warm water and drying thoroughly with disposable paper towel.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 5
Why we wear gloves
Gloves are used to protect the food that you are preparing from any contamination that may be on your hands.
They are not to keep your hands clean when handling food.
Gloves are not a legal requirement; however public perception is that they must be used when handling food.
If food can be handled with clean hands then gloves do not need to be worn. Hands can be kept clean by either
regular hand washing as required (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 4) or the use of Antibacterial Hand Gel in place of
hand washing. Tongs and other utensils are another useful way to prevent contamination.
If you choose to use gloves as a part of your business practice you must ensure that they are used correctly.
When to change gloves
Gloves need to be changed:
When changing tasks;
After coughing / sneezing;
After touching hair / scalp / skin or body opening;
After touching any other item that may contaminate food ie: waste;
If the glove/s become damaged.
It is also recommended that gloves are changed every half an hour even if doing one continual task as this
assists in maintaining hands free from skin conditions caused by the continual use of latex or rubber gloves.
Changing of gloves
Hands must be washed in between each glove change. This is because hands become very hot and sweaty
when gloves are worn, which provides an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria. Once the gloves are
removed, these bacteria will contaminate everything you touch, including the new gloves.
Additional Points – Personal Attire
Gloves are used to protect the food you are handling from contamination from your hands, not to protect you
from the food.
Gloves are not a legal requirement, however if you choose to wear them they must be used correctly.
Gloves must be changed when you change tasks or as often as you would wash your hands (refer Food Fact
Sheet No. 2), as well as if the glove is damaged.
Hands must be washed after every glove change.
Regular hand washing, the use of an antibacterial gel or utensils are just as effective in protecting food from
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 6
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that naturally occur around you. Some bacteria however, when they are not in
their natural environment can cause illness or death. Bacteria can make you ill by:
• Consuming an infective dose*
• Consuming the toxins created by the bacteria
* The infective dose is the number of bacteria required to cause food poisoning. A smaller number of bacteria would
be needed to make the young, elderly or sick compared to healthy people.
How Bacteria Grows
Bacteria need the following conditions in which to optimize their growth:
• Food source (usually high protein foods)
• Time to multiply (double in number every 20 minutes under ideal conditions)
• Neutral acidity (pH - 7)
• Non saline environment
• Temperature (bacteria die above 60°C and become inactive below 5°C)
Common Food Poisoning Bacteria
Some common pathogenic (food poisoning) bacteria and where they can be found include:
• Staphylococcus aureus (found on the skin, hair etc as well as on meat and in dairy products)
• Escherichia coli (found in the intestinal tract of animals and humans)
• Salmonella spp. (found in meat, poultry and egg)
• Clostridium perfringens (found in the soil)
• Listeria monocytogenes (found in raw meats, unpasteurised dairy products and fermented meats)
• Bacillus cereus (found in rice)
• Vibrio parahaemalyticus (found in seafood)
Additional Points - Bacteria
• Bacteria can make you ill by consuming an infective dose* or by consuming the toxins formed by the
• Bacteria need the following conditions to optimise growth - moisture, food source, non acidic
environment, oxygen, non saline environment as well as the correct temperature and the time required
for them to multiply to the number that can make you ill.
• Some common food poisoning bacteria include - Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella
spp., Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Vibrio parahaemalyticus.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 7
The temperature danger zone is between 5°C and 60°C. It is important that potentially hazardous food is stored outside this
temperature range as this is the temperature at which bacteria thrive. Potentially hazardous foods that should be stored at or below
5°C or, at or above 60°C include:
• Meat and meat products including chicken
• Seafood and seafood products
• Ready to eat foods including cut up salads, sandwiches, fruit etc
Dairy products including milk, cheese, cream,
• custard, cheesecake etc
• Cold potentially hazardous foods should be stored at or below 5°C at all times. Equipment that can be used to
keep potentially hazardous food cold include:
• Refrigerated Display Cabinet
• Portable refrigerator for transport of cold potentially hazardous food
• Frozen foods must be stored frozen
• Eskies are not an appropriate method of storage for cold potentially hazardous food as the food is exposed to
excessive temperature fluctuations.
Hot potentially hazardous food should be stored at or above 60°C at all times. Equipment that can be used to keep potentially
hazardous foods hot include:
• Bain Marie
• Pie Warmer
* Potentially hazardous food must be placed into bain maries and pie warmers hot as they are designed to maintain hot
temperatures and not to heat food up to 60°C or above. Bain maries and pie warmers must also be hot prior to placing hot
potentially hazardous foods into them.
Additional Points – Temperature Control
• Cold potentially hazardous foods must be stored at or below 5°C at all times.
• Hot potentially hazardous foods must be stored at or above 60°C at all times.
• Frozen potentially hazardous foods must be stored frozen.
• Storage facilities must be capable of maintaining potentially hazardous foods at the correct temperature.
• Hot potentially hazardous food must be hot prior to placing into bain maries and pie warmers.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 8
Checking Temperature- Temperature Gauges
There are 3 types of temperature gauges that are used in a food premises:
• Fixed Thermometer (usually in a cold room with the display on the outside)
• Moveable temperature gauges (used to check air temps in cold storage and hot storage)
• Probe Thermometer (used to check the actual temperature of food in hot and cold storage and display units)
* Every food premises is required to have a probe thermometer and is required to use it to check the temperature of potentially
What you need to check
Fixed thermometer and moveable temperature gauges give you a general idea of the air temperature of your cold or hot storage units
and should be placed:
In the warmest part of your cold storage unit, or
The coldest part of your hot storage unit.
* These temperature measuring devices are for a general indication of temperatures only and should not be used to assess the true
temperature of your food.
Probe thermometers are used to measure the exact temperature of your food and can be used to log food temperatures. Probes
should be used on foods stored:
In the warmest part of the cold storage unit
In the coldest part of the hot storage unit
Alternatively a temperature probe may be placed into a glass of water kept permanently in the storage unit to test what the food
temperature is. This method is useful if mainly prepackaged food is stored.
When checking the temperature of food items, remember to clean and sanitise the probe thermometer between uses. Clean the probe
thermometer to remove the food items and sanitise (eg alcohol wipes) to kill any bacteria.
Temperatures of food storage units should be checked and logged every day. Preferably at the same time each day ie: at the start of
each day or at the end of each day. The person who checks the temperatures needs to sign them off once they have been recorded.
The purpose of this is to ensure the equipment is maintaining temperatures at the correct level. These records should be kept for at
least 12 months.
Additional Points -Temperature Checking
• All food businesses must have a probe thermometer.
• A probe thermometer must be used to check the actual temperature of potentially hazardous food in hot and cold
• Probe thermometers must be sterilised between uses.
• Temperatures should be taken of food stored in the warmest part of cold storage units.
• Temperatures should be taken of food stored in the coldest part of hot storage units.
• Temperatures of hot and cold storage units need to be checked and logged at lease once a day.
• Temperature logs need to be signed by the person recording the temperatures.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 9
2 Hour / 4 Hour Rule
The 2 hour / 4 hour rule is a system that can be implemented when potentially hazardous food* needs to be stored out of
temperature control. It is not the preferred method of storage for potentially hazardous food* but may be used in the following
During display / for sale.
* This rule is used for ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods which are foods that are not going to be further processed.
How to use the 2 Hour / 4 Hour rule
The 2 hour / 4 hour rule states the following:
• If potentially hazardous food* has been out of temperature control for 2 hours or less then it may continue to
be used or be placed back in the refrigerator.
• If potentially hazardous food* has been out of temperature control for over 2 hours but less than 4 hours it
must be used or discarded. It cannot be refrigerated.
• Once potentially hazardous food* has been out of temperature control for 4 hours it must be discarded. It
cannot be used for any other purpose.
It is important that the 2 hour / 4 hour rule is well documented and that the history of the potentially hazardous food is known
upon receipt of the product. Documentation of the following items need to be maintained to show the 2 hour / 4 hour rule is
being followed correctly:
• The temperature history of the potentially hazardous food;
• Time history when potentially hazardous food is out of temperature control;
• Time potentially hazardous food has previously been out of temperature control as the time is always
accumulative ie: if an item of potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for half an hour
before being placed back into the refrigerator, the item then only has 3 and a half hours before it must be
Additional Points - 2 Hour / 4 Hour Rule
• Only needs to be used when ready-to-eat potentially hazardous food is stored out of temperature control.
• The 2 hour / 4 hour rule states:
• If potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for 2 hours or less then it may continue to
be used or place back in the refrigerator.
• If potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for over 2 hours but less than 4 hours it
must be used or discarded. It cannot be refrigerated.
• Once potentially hazardous food has been out of temperature control for 4 hours it must be discarded. It
cannot be used for any other purpose.
• It is important that the process is well documented including the temperature history prior to receipt
of food and any time that has previously been accumulated during preparation.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 10
Cross - Contamination
Cross contamination occurs when food becomes contaminated from another source. Bacteria tend to spread easily from
one source to another. Cross contamination occurs when a ready-to-eat food comes into contact with another surface or
product that causes it to become contaminated.
Cross contamination is a major problem with ready-to-eat foods (RTE) as no further processing occurs to the food before
sale and consumption, meaning that if contamination occurs there is no way of minimizing or controlling the contamination ie:
by applying heat. This means that if the food is not handled or stored correctly there is a high possibility of food poisoning
Causes of Cross - Contamination
• Food stored inappropriately ie: not covered
• Benches and utensils not being cleaned and sanitized thoroughly between uses
• Failure to wash hands between change of tasks
Prevention of Cross - Contamination
• Make sure any raw meat products including fish are stored below and away from any foods which are
cooked or ready-to-eat.
• Benches should always be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before preparing ready-to-eat foods on them.
• All utensils e.g. knives and chopping boards that have been used to cut up raw meat should be cleaned
and sanitised before being used for cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
• Ensure hands are always washed before touching ready-to-eat foods especially after handling raw meat or
contaminated material such as rubbish.
A simple way to avoid cross contamination is to use separate colour coded utensils for raw and RTE products. For example
all chopping boards, knife handles and containers used for raw meat may be red, cooked meats may be used on brown
coded utensils, fruit and vegetable used on green coded utensils and all others white.
Additional Points - Cross Contamination
• Cross contamination occurs when bacteria is transferred from one food or food contact surface to another
• Ensure that all foods are stored covered and that raw foods are stored below and away from ready-to-eat
• All food contact surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between uses.
• Ensure hands are always washed before touching ready-to-eat foods.
• The use of different colour coded utensils for raw and ready-to eat foods is a simple way to avoid cross
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 11
General Storage Information
It is important that food is stored correctly in both dry stores and cold rooms for the following reasons:
• To maintain the quality and integrity of the product;
• To protect the product from contamination;
• Allows for quality assurance due to stock rotation and date coding (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 12);
• Ensures no food source is available for pests.
Dry stores are generally used for the storage of non perishable items. It is still important that these items
are protected from contamination by:
• Ensuring packaging is maintained in good order;
• Ensuring all food containers are food grade;
• Ensure all containers with food have sealed lids;
• Ensure shelving is maintained in a good condition;
• Ensure goods are not stored on the floor to facilitate easy cleaning.
Cold storage areas include cold rooms, freezer rooms, domestic and commercial refrigerators. Cold
stores are generally used for the storage of potentially hazardous foods. The same principles of storage
apply to all units:
• Ensure all food items are stored in food grade containers which are well sealed;
• Store raw food below or separate from cooked and ready to eat foods to minimize the chance of cross-
contamination (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 10);
• Maintain cold storage units in a clean and well maintained condition to minimize the chance of
• Date code all foods to ensure that the first item in is the first item out;
• Ensure cold and hot storage units maintain temperature of potentially hazardous foods (refer Food
Fact Sheet No. 7).
Additional Points - Storage
• All food that is not in original packaging should be stored in well sealed food grade containers.
• All food should be stored off the floor to facilitate easy cleaning.
• Potentially hazardous food should be date coded to ensure that the first item in is the first item out.
• All food storage areas should be maintained in a clean condition at all times.
• All raw foods in cold storage should be stored below and away from cooked and ready to eat foods.
• Ensure cold and hot storage units maintain temperature of potentially hazardous foods (refer Food
Fact Sheet No. 7).
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 12
Date coding is a method of ensuring that food is not stored for longer than it should be so that the safety and quality of
the food is maintained date coding can be done by using either:
• The date the product must be used by; or
• The date the product went into storage (this method should only be used when there is a defined known
period that the product can be kept for).
How to Date Code
There are a number of ways that date coding can be done:
• Use of the date that a product is placed into storage or a product is to be used by
• Use of a day that a product is placed into storage or a product is to be used by
• Use of a colour mark to show when a product is placed into storage or a product is to be used by
The method of date coding you use in your business must be consistent and known to all staff.
What to Date Code
All products bought into a food premises should be date coded to ensure that the first item bought in is the first item
taken out. However it is more important that potentially hazardous foods are date coded. This would include the
• Meat & meat products when brought in raw;
• Any product that is cooked and stored ie: cooked meat, lasagna etc;
• Cold ready-to-eat foods ie: cold meat, pre prepared salad etc.
Date Coding Important Points
• The purpose of date coding is to ensure that the first product bought into storage is the first product that is
taken out of storage to ensure that the safety and quality of the food is maintained.
• Date coding can be done using dates, days or coloured dots as long as every staff member knows what
system is in place and are following it.
• All products in storage should be date coded especially potentially hazardous foods.
• If a product that has been frozen and date coded is taken out of the freezer and placed in refrigeration, it
needs to be redated to reflect the change in storage practice.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 13
Cleaning – Storing Of Products
All cleaning products should be stored in such a manner that they do not have the chance to cause chemical
contamination of food. For this reason cleaning products should be stored:
• In an area separate from food storage and preparation;
• If chemicals cannot be stored in separate areas, they should be well secured and stored below food products;
• All chemicals should be stored in line with appropriate Workplace Health & Safety requirements.
Types of Products
Before using cleaning chemicals you must ensure the following:
• Chemicals are food grade (check with supplier);
• Manufacturers’ instructions are followed to ensure the product is safe to use with food;
• All chemical containers are correctly labeled to ensure that they can be and are used correctly.
The following areas are commonly missed during cleaning:
• Behind, beneath and the underside of benches, refrigerators, freezers, cooking equipment etc
• Inside cold rooms
• Any other hard to reach areas
The following is recommended to ensure premises are maintained in a clean and hygienic manner:
• Ensure the premises is clean before going home each day;
• Start high and work your way down;
• Implement a cleaning schedule (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 15).
Additional Points - Cleaning
• Ensure chemicals are stored in areas where there is no chance that they will cause contamination of food.
• Ensure all food chemicals are food grade, labelled and are used as per the manufacturers’ instructions.
• Ensure all areas are cleaned including hard to reach areas and under and behind large equipment, benches and
• Follow a cleaning roster each day to ensure no areas are missed and premises are left clean at the end of each
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 14
Sanitising is a process that kills micro-organisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is a step that must be conducted
on all food contact surfaces after cleaning. All sanitizers must be food grade. Sanitising can be done by:
• Immersion in hot water (77°C for over 30 seconds)
• Use of chemical sanitisers which can include compounds of either chlorine, iodine, alcohol, phenols or
What to sanitise
Sanitising must be conducted on any food contact surface. A food contact surface is any surface that
comes in contact with food during preparation prior to sale and will include the following:
• Cooking Utensils including bowls, saucepans, pots, pans, stirring and mixing spoons
• Chopping Boards
• Crockery & Cutlery
• Washing / Cleaning Sinks
The use of chemicals is the most common method for sanitising. However, when using chemical
sanitisers it is important that you:
• Ensure all chemical sanitizers are food grade;
• Ensure all chemical sanitizers are correctly labelled;
• Ensure all staff are trained in the correct use of sanitizers and sanitizing methods;
• Ensure sanitizers are used correctly to minimize the chance of chemical contamination of food;
• Ensure all chemical sanitizers are stored correctly to minimize the chance of chemical contamination of
Additional Points - Sanitising
• All food contact surfaces include cooking equipment, eg. utensils, chopping boards, benches, crockery
and cutlery, must be sanitised after each use.
• Sanitising can be done with either hot water (77°C for over 30 seconds) or with chemical sanitisers
(used as per the manufacturers’ instructions).
• When using chemical sanitisers, it is important that they are food grade, used as per the
manufacturers instructions, correctly labelled and all staff have been trained to ensure that sanitising is
done correctly to minimise any chance of chemical contamination of food.
• All chemical sanitisers must be stored correctly - away from or under food storage.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 15
It is vital that a food business maintains its premises and equipment to a standard of cleanliness where there is no accumulation of
garbage, food waste, dirt, grease or other visible matter. The purpose of a cleaning schedule is to assist in ensuring that a
premises is maintained to this level of cleanliness at all times and ensures that no item is forgotten.
Some items in a cleaning schedule will be required to be done more than once a day, for example benches. Other items can be
done as infrequently as once a week or once a month for example window screens.
To make the implementation of cleaning schedules easier, they can be implemented into other documented work practices like
opening and closing procedures.
What to include in a cleaning schedule
The following items need to be included in a cleaning schedule:
• The item that needs to be cleaned
• How often the item needs to be cleaned
• The procedure to be followed to ensure the item is well cleaned and sanitized
• What cleaning agent and the concentration of that cleaning agent that should be used in the cleaning and sanitizing of
• The person or the position that is responsible for doing the cleaning of that item
• A signature of the person who cleaned the item to create ownership of the cleaning. This usually ensures that an item
is cleaned as stated
Area/Item Frequency Procedure Cleaning Person Signature
Floors Daily Sweep Detergent Jane J. Brown
Additional Points - Cleaning Schedule
Cleaning schedules help to ensure that items are cleaned regularly and maintained free of dirt, grease, food matter and other
visible matter at all times.
• A cleaning schedule must incorporate the:
- Item to be cleaned
- Frequency of item to be cleaned
- Procedure to follow when cleaning an item
- Cleaning agent to be used for cleaning
- Person responsible for cleaning
- Signature of the person who cleaned the item
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 16
Delivery – General Information
Once food arrives on your food premises, you are responsible for it. That means that if you have accepted
potentially contaminated food and anything goes wrong, you will wear the blame for it not the person who
supplied you with the faulty food.
For this reason it is important that you do everything possible to ensure the food that you receive onto your
premises whether it is delivered to you or you have gone and bought it, is safe and suitable.
Under the Food Safety Standards every business is required to do the following:
• Ensure that all food that is received is protected from contamination;
• Be able to provide the name and address of the supplier of the food as well as the name of the food;
• Ensure that all potentially hazardous food is received under temperature control (refer Food Fact
Sheet No. 7);
• Ensure that all frozen food is received frozen.
Ensuring integrity of food
• The following are some ways to ensure the integrity of food received at your food business:
• Have a list of approved suppliers who you know provide foods from a reliable source;
• Check all incoming deliveries to ensure that packaging is not damaged;
• Check all incoming potentially hazardous food to ensure that it is under temperature control or it is
What to do if food is unsatisfactory
If any food that you receive is damaged or not under temperature control you must:
• Reject the food - send it back
• Keep a record of what food has been rejected and why
• If you regularly reject food from the same supplier, talk to your supplier and if that doesn’t work look at
Additional Points - Delivery
• A business is responsible for the food they sell once they have accepted it onto the premises.
• A food business must check all food that they receive to ensure that it is:
• from a reliable source
• protected from contamination
• delivered under temperature control or frozen if it is potentially hazardous
• If food fails to meet any of the above requirements it must be rejected and returned to the supplier and
a record of the rejection event kept.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 17
Pests play an important role in the spread of bacteria and disease and can cause contamination to both food and food contact
surfaces. Pests in a food premises include flies, cockroaches, ants, mice and rats.
How pests can contaminate food
Pests contaminate food and food contact surfaces in the following ways:
• Physically, by getting into the food supply themselves or leaving droppings, limbs or hair behind (e.g. finding rat droppings or
a dead cockroach in your sausage roll);
• By using their body parts (e.g. feet and feelers) to transfer pathogens from other places, such as the sewer and rubbish piles
where flies generally harbour, onto food and food surfaces.
How to control pests
1. Build them out - your food premises should be constructed and maintained in such a manner that there are no cracks or
crevices in walls, floors, benches etc that can allow pest ingress and egress or that will create harbourage areas. Remember
a mouse can fit through a hole the width of a biro. All windows and entrances should be well screened to prevent pests
entering premises. (It is no use having a screen door if it is always left open.) The use of air curtains in entrances open to the
public eg at the front of the store, can also assist with controlling ingress of flying pests.
2. Starve them out - your food premises should be thoroughly cleaned every day to ensure there is no food lying around for
them to eat. This includes the removal of unnecessary cardboard boxes as these not only provide excellent harbourage but
also doubles as a food source. All food items should be stored in well sealed containers in dry storage areas. If flour and
other loose food items are to be stored in bulk containers the lid needs to be close fitting and kept on when the food is not
being used. It is also important to ensure that bins are emptied at least every day or when full. If external bins (either wheelie
bins or skips) are overfull they will attract pests to your food premises which will require you to be extra diligent in maintaining
your premises to keep it free from pests. For this reason it is important to ensure all bins are emptied regularly.
3. Drive them out - use a licensed pest controller to assist in controlling pests in the food premises. It is recommended that
you have a pest controller treat your premises at least every 6 months. It is important that pest control is not done by the use
of bombs or by fly spray as every surface that comes into contact with the fly spray or chemical from the bomb must be wiped
down and cleaned thereby removing any trace of chemical that could control pests. This method also has the potential of
causing chemical contamination of any food that is exposed to the spray.
• Bug zappers should only be used in areas away from food preparation.
Additional Points – Pest Control
• Pests play an important role in the spread of bacteria and disease and can cause contamination to both food and food
• Pests contaminate food in 2 ways – physically by ending up in the food or by transferring pathogens.
• Pests can be controlled in 3 ways, by:
- building them out – ensure all openings are screened and cracks and crevices filled in
- staving them out – ensure all food is covered, and all areas are clean so there is no food source
- driving them out – use a licensed pest controller to treat your premises at least every 6 months
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 18
It is important that food premises, fixtures, fittings and equipment are maintained in a good state of repair and working order so
that they do not potentially compromise food safety and suitability.
It is also important that all eating and drinking utensils used in food handling or serving are not chipped broken or cracked. This is
important as when items are chipped, broken or cracked they cannot be effectively cleaned or sanitized and there is a higher risk
of food becoming physically contaminated.
Maintenance of Premises
It is important that premises are maintained to prevent pest ingress and egress and to prevent physical contamination of food.
This can be achieved by ensuring:
• there are no holes in walls, floors, ceiling, fixtures and fittings that will allow for pests to enter or harbour;
• there are no holes in window and door screens that will allow pest ingress & egress;
• that there are no exposed wooden or chipboard surfaces;
• there is no flaking paint especially around food preparation areas;
• coving is well sealed to the walls to prevent pest harbourage;
• shelving maintains its integrity (no rusting metal and exposed wood).
Maintenance of Equipment
It is important that equipment is maintained in a good state of repair and in good working order to ensure that the equipment is
capable of doing the job it is intended to do. For this reason it is important that:
• All equipment including cooling and heating devices are capable of doing the job they are intended to do;
• All food handling equipment is not broken and is free of cracks and chips to enable effective cleaning and
• Food cleaning equipment is maintained so that it is capable of doing the job it is intended to do ie: dishwashers,
buckets and hoses;
• Temperature measuring devices must be maintained so they remain accurate.
Additional Points - Maintenance
All food premises, fixtures, fittings and equipment need to be maintained to ensure the safety and suitability of food.
• Food premises need to be maintained to prevent pest ingress, egress and harbourage, minimise the chance of
physical contamination and to enable effective cleaning and sanitising.
• Equipment needs to be maintained to ensure they are capable of doing the job they are intended to do, enable
effective cleaning and sanitising and to minimise the risk of contamination of food.
• All chipped, broken and cracked food utensils should be discarded to minimise the risk of contamination of food.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 19
Food Safety Plans
A food safety plan is a documented system that you have in place to ensure the food that you sell to the public is safe.
It is a document that outlines what procedures are to be followed and the minimum requirements that are to be met at
all stages of food production. It also has a documented system that must be followed should a procedure fail to meet
the minimum requirements. This allows any problem to be identified and rectified as quickly as possible to minimize
the risk of contamination to food.
The purpose of a food safety plan is to help prove due diligence and ensure the ongoing quality and safety of the food
that you are preparing to sell to the public.
A food safety plan can also be called a HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and is based on 7
The 7 Principles of
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
List Potential Hazards
Determine Critical Control Points
Establish Critical Limits
What you can record
As a part of a food safety plan the following items should be recorded:
Staff Sickness Log
Pest Report Log
Additional Points – Food Safety Plans
• A food safety plan is a documented system that helps to ensure all the food prepared on the premises is safe
for the public to consume.
• A food safety plan assists in the proving of ‘due diligence’.
• Documents that should be kept include temperature logging sheets, cleaning schedules, delivery logs and
• Food safety plans are based on the 7 Principals of HACCP - list potential hazards, determine critical control
points, establish critical limits, monitor, corrective actions, verification, record keeping.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 20
General Defrosting Information
It is important that potentially hazardous foods are defrosted correctly for the following reasons:
• To maintain the quality and integrity of the product;
• To protect the product from contamination;
• Ensures potentially harmful bacteria and toxins do not reach harmful levels with the potential to cause disease.
The best methods for the defrosting of potentially hazardous foods are either in the refrigerator or microwave.
The refrigerator is the best and most acceptable way in which to defrost potentially hazardous food. When potentially
hazardous food is defrosted in the refrigerator it is maintaining a temperature outside of the temperature danger zone.
However, use of the refrigerator as a method of defrosting can have limitations due to the time it takes, especially for
bulky items such as large cuts of meat and chickens, to defrost. To ensure potentially hazardous food is defrosted
appropriately in the refrigerator, the following steps are recommended:
• Plan ahead, most items will take at least 24 hours to defrost fully;
• Ensure all items are well covered to prevent cross contamination (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 10);
• Items for defrosting should be placed below or away from cooked and ready to eat foods.
The microwave provides a quick method for the defrosting of foods. The microwave is an acceptable method to use
for defrosting as it means that potentially hazardous foods are in the temperature danger zone for only a limited period
of time. However, use of the microwave for defrosting of potentially hazardous foods has limitations as the rate of
defrosting of the item is not evenly distributed. This means that some areas of the item defrosting can become cooked
while other areas are still frozen. For this reason the use of the microwave as a method of defrosting should be limited
to the following situations:
• Where food is to be cooked immediately after the defrosting process;
• Where the quality of the product is not affected by the defrosting process;
• As a last resort due to unforeseen circumstances.
Additional Points - Defrosting
• It is important that frozen potentially hazardous foods are defrosted correctly to minimise the risks of bacteria
or toxins reaching potentially harmful levels and to maintain the quality and integrity of the product.
• Placing frozen items in the refrigerator is the best way in which to defrost potentially hazardous foods as the
foods are maintained outside of the temperature danger zone. This method however can take 24 hours or
• The use of the microwave for the defrosting of potentially hazardous foods is also acceptable as it allows food
to be in the temperature danger zone for only a short period of time. This method however does not give a
uniform rate of defrosting of the product.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 21
Food scraps and rubbish from food shops that are not disposed of properly can cause problems. Rotting food scraps
mixed with other rubbish will begin to smell and will quickly attract cockroaches, rodents and flies.
It is important to ensure your rubbish is adequately protected from vermin and pests, and does not create an odour
problem for you, or your neighbours.
Your bins should be cleaned regularly and included in your cleaning schedule (refer Food Fact Sheet No. 15) and be
removed from the roadside as soon as possible after collection.
Indoor Waste Management
Bins located inside food preparation areas should be large enough to take all the waste that is intended for them. It is
important that the bin has a lid that fits. This will stop mice, flies and cockroaches being attracted to the bin and
transferring dirt and bacteria from the bin to clean benches or crockery in your kitchen. The following are
recommended as good waste management practices:
• Ensure all indoor bins are emptied at the end of each day;
• Keep your bins clean and in good condition by making sure they have secure lids and that both the lid
and bin are not split or broken, if so, replace them;
• Deodorise the bin as required to reduce odour;
• Organic materials should be wrapped or bagged to prevent nuisance and odour problems occurring.
Smelly items such as seafood should be stored in bags in the freezer until rubbish is collected if not
• Always provide a bin liner, such as a bag as this can be tied up and disposed and will assist with
cleaning reducing odours and pests.
Outdoor Waste Management
Outdoor bins should be large enough to hold all waste and stored on a paved area that can be easily cleaned. This
area should be graded towards a sewer outlet to enable liquids which leak out of bins to be collected properly. This
discharge is not permitted to go into storm water drainage. It is important that:
• Rubbish is not left to sit and rot. Waste should be removed at least once a week, or more frequently if
required, through a waste contractor.
• Bins should be maintained in a good condition with secure fitting lids.
Additional Points - Waste Management
• Ensure rubbish is adequately protected from vermin and pests, and does not create an odour problem
for you, or your neighbour.
• Indoor and outdoor bins should be large enough to hold all your rubbish.
• Ensure all bins have secure fitting lids to prevent vermin being attracted to the bin.
• Ensure bins are clean and in good condition by making sure that both the lid and bin are not split or
• Organic material should be bagged to prevent nuisance and odour problems occurring.
• Waste should be removed at least once a week, or more frequently if required.
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 22
Staff Sickness Records
These are a record of staff illnesses that could lead to contamination of food.
Food handlers suffering from food poisoning of carrying food – poisoning
bacteria may infect food.
If you suspect a member of your staff is suffering form food poisoning or is
carrying food poisoning bacteria they should be sent home or moved onto
duties that do not involve food handling. More advice can be obtained by
calling the Environmental Health Officer
Lesions that contaminate food should also be noted and controls put in place
to prevent problems. An example of this would be to use brightly coloured
band aids with water-proof drawing for minor cuts, etc…
You must fill out a Staff Sickness Record in the following
1. Staff will report to the manager as soon as possible if they are suffering
Septic skin lesions (boils, infected cuts, etc, however small)
Discharge form ear, nose and any other site
2. After returning, and before commencing work, following an illness or any of
the above conditions.
3. If any member of there household is suffering form Diarrhoea and/or
4. After returning form a holiday during which they suffered an attack of
Diarrhoea and/or Vomiting
5. After returning form a holiday during which any member of the party
suffered an attack of Diarrhoea and/or Vomiting
Food Fact Sheet No 23
Food Safety Supervisors
In order to increase the food safety skills and knowledge available in every
food businesses, the new Act introduces the requirement for food safety
supervisors from 22 February 2008.
After 22 February 2008, every licensed food business is also required to
nominate a food safety supervisor to their local government within 30 days
of receiving their new licence.
A food safety supervisor is a person who:
• Can identify, prevent and alleviate food safety hazards
• Has skills and knowledge in food safety relating to the type of
• Supervises and gives direction to food handlers regarding food
• Is available to be conducted by the local government to
discuss food safety issues relating to the food business
FOOD FACT SHEET NO. 24
Doggy Bags/Take Home Left Overs
There seems to be uncertainty about the legal implications of “doggy bags” or take home left
overs amongst food proprietors, restaurant staff and the customer.
The food purchased by a customer at a restaurant becomes the property of that customer. In the
interest of food safety, “doggy bags” are considered to be high risk as the customer can
compromise the food itself by means of time taken to consume and changing the physical state
of the food to consume it.
Proprietors are encouraged not to give “doggy bags” for high risk foods such as seafood, poultry,
meat and dessert dishes.
The warning statement below should be placed on a clean container used for takeaway and
“doggy bags”. Details of the customer requesting the doggy bag should also be taken possibly in
a daily diary. The daily diary is also useful to record customer complaints. These records can
help demonstrate reasonable precautions and due diligence which are defenses for food
business operators under the Food Act 2006.
If you have any queries regarding food safety practices, legal implications and labeling
requirements (nutritional panel, allergen warning etc.) please contact:
07 3234 0111
GPO Box 48
BRISBANE QLD 4001
Take Away Food/Doggy Bag Warning
Date Food Sold ……………………
Please place this food under 5°C, in your refrigerator, as
soon as possible.
Reheat the food to 80° C the next day of discard.
Avoid leaving this food in the Temperature Danger Zone
(5°C to 60°C) form more than a cumulative total of 4 hours
including the time in the restaurant.