Health and hygiene responsibilities for food business
Food businesses have an overarching responsibility to ensure the safety of the food they produce. Under Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), there specific health and hygiene requirements are set out for food businesses. These include responsibilities around the health of food handlers, the hygiene practices of food handlers and other general duties.
Both food handlers and food businesses have specified legal responsibilities to ensure that food is not to be prepared or handled by anyone who is suffering from a gastrointestinal illness.
If you handle food while suffering from or recovering from a gastrointestinal illness, there is a likelihood that food can become contaminated.
It is an offence under the Code to handle food while suffering from, or recovering from a gastrointestinal illness.
If suffering from gastroenteritis, SA Health recommends you should not return to work at least 48 hours after all symptoms have stopped. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat, fevers. If you have these symptoms or suspect that you are suffering from a food borne disease or are a carrier, legally you must notify your workplace.
It is also an offence if you handle food whilst unwell and do not notify your workplace.
Food businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that food handlers who are suffering from or are a carrier of a food borne diseasedo not engage in any food handling activities.
This can also include food handlers which are known or reasonably suspected to have a symptom indicating that they are suffering from a food borne disease. If no activities are suitable, or the facilities are not adequate to prevent the risk of contamination, the food handler can be restricted from a food business completely.
Food businesses may exclude a food handler from handling food or working within a food premises until they receive advice from a medical practitioner that they are no longer suffering from or a carrier of a food borne disease or until at least 48 hours after all symptoms have stopped.
It is an offence if a food business knowingly allows a food handler to handle food while suffering from, or recovering from a gastrointestinal illness.
Apart from the proprietor or an authorised officer, food businesses must protect the privacy of the food handler with regards to the information they provide in relation to health and hygiene matters.
Hygiene of food handlers
Food businesses are responsible for providing easily accessible hand washing facilities in areas where food handlers work. This may include installing multiple hand wash basins if the preparation area is large, or there are multiple food preparation sections within the business.
Hand wash facilities must be designated for the sole purpose of washing the hands, arms or face and must be appropriately equipped with warm running water, soap and single use towels (and a nearby waste receptacle for the towels).
The Code also sets out specific circumstances when food handlers must wash their hands, primarily whenever there is the likelihood of hands being contaminated and before commencing food (or food contact surface) handling. The Code also states how hands must be washed.
Use of the information and data contained within this site or these pages is at your sole risk.
If you rely on the information on this site you are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency or completeness.
This site includes links to other websites operated by community, business and government.
These linked websites will have their own terms and conditions of use and you should familiarise yourself with these.
All linked websites are linked 'as is' and the Government of South Australia:
does not sponsor, endorse or necessarily approve of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations regarding the quality, accuracy, merchantability or fitness for purpose of any material on websites linked from or to this Site;
does not make any warranties or representations that material on other websites to which this site is linked does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person anywhere in the world; and
does not authorise the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material in other websites by linking this site to those other websites.
If you use automatic language translation services in connection with this site you do so at your own risk.
The information and data on this site is subject to change without notice. The Government of South Australia may revise this disclaimer at any time by updating this posting.
The Government of South Australia, its agents, instrumentalities, officers and employees:
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy of the information and data contained on this site
make no representations, express or implied, as to the accuracy or usefulness of any translation of the information on this site or any linked website into another language
make no representations as to the availability of the site and the availability of websites linked from or to the site
accept no liability however arising for any loss resulting from the use of the site and any information and data or reliance placed on it (including translated information and data)
make no representations, either expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the said information and data for any particular purpose
accepts no liability for any interference with or damage to a user's computer, software or data occurring in connection with or relating to this Site or its use or any website linked to this site
do not represent or warrant that applications or payments initiated through this site will in fact be received or made to the intended recipient. Users are advised to confirm the application or payment by other means.