Childcare centre food safety requirements

In order to protect vulnerable people in our community, including older persons and people who have weakened immune systems due to illness, businesses that serve potentially hazardous food to vulnerable persons need to comply with additional legislative requirements to further manage risks. This page provides information on food safety management systems that have been introduced for your sector.

Vulnerable persons

Vulnerable people are defined within Standard 3.3.1 in terms of the facility in which they are cared for or as clients of a delivered meals organisation. The facilities listed in the standard include child care facilities such as:

  • long day care
  • occasional care
  • employer-sponsored child care for children four years of age or less where the facility is not a private residential dwelling.

Standard 3.3.1 – Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons

Standard 3.3.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code outlines the responsibilities of food businesses that process or serve food to vulnerable populations. 

A food business to which Standard 3.3.1 applies must have a food safety program that complies with Standard 3.2.1.

Refer to the Guide produced by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to further define and explain the types of food businesses that are captured by Standard 3.3.1.

Not sure if this applies to your business

If you are unsure if this applies to your business, see the food safety audit page.

Food safety programs

A food safety program is defined as a written document that systematically identifies the risks present in the food handling operations of a food business and provides for the control, monitoring and regular review of those risks in order to ensure food safety.

The purpose of Standard 3.2.1 is to detail what a food safety program must contain when a food business is required to implement a food safety program. A food safety program must be audited by a regulatory food safety auditor approved under the Food Act 2001.

Refer to the Guide produced by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to further explain the requirements of implementing a food safety program.

Food Safety Guidelines for Vulnerable Persons

To assist businesses SA Health has developed the following guideline Food Safety Guidelines for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons (PDF 601KB)


To assist businesses SA Health, with industry support, developed a food safety program template for the child care sector (DOC 701KB). This template is a step by step tool that assists business to develop a food safety program.

On request, the SA Health's Food and Controlled Drugs Branch can supply you with a CD containing these documents. 

Find an auditor

To find an auditor in your council area see Department for Health and Wellbeing approved food safety auditors.

Further information

For more information on food safety food, contact SA Health's Food and Controlled Drugs Branch.