Food service and closely related retail

This information has been prepared to assist food service and closely related retail sectors understand, interpret and implement the food safety legislation.

Food Safety Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements and Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment are legal requirements for food businesses in South Australia under the Food Act 2001. These standards are available at the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

Foodborne illness outbreaks in food service and closely related retail sectors (for example, restaurants, takeaways, bakeries, commercial caterers) account for just under two thirds of all reported foodborne illness outbreaks in Australia.

Food Safety Management Policy Guideline

In 2011 the Australian Government Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation put in place a new Food Safety Management Policy Guideline for the retail and food service sectors. The new Policy Guideline replaced the 2003 version, giving Food Standards Australia New Zealand and State and Territory regulators a more comprehensive range of risk management tools for food safety management in the retail and food service sectors. As a result, regulators can potentially apply more appropriately targeted and cost-effective responses to food safety risks.

The goal of this work is to improve food safety management outcomes in these sectors:

General food service sector

  • on and off-site catering
  • eating establishments

Closely related retail sectors

Retailers of ready-to-eat:

  • potentially hazardous bakery products (including processors)
  • delicatessen products
  • processed seafood products
  • perishable packaged foods (for example, sandwiches).

Improvement will require both regulatory and non-regulatory measures and an enhanced food safety culture in the relevant sectors.

Food safety culture is how and what the employees in a company or organisation think about food safety and the food safety behaviours they routinely practice and demonstrate.

Food regulatory authorities

Food regulatory authorities across Australia are working together to develop nationally consistent food safety management arrangements in Australia. In 2013 a working group was formed to implement the revised Policy Guideline. The working group was represented by all jurisdictions and local government, and was responsible for completing the phases of work in the development of a food safety management framework. In 2015 a working group was established to provide advice and direction on key policy issues required to achieve nationally consistent implementation of the Policy Guideline.


Stakeholder engagement is important for developing measures that will improve food safety management outcomes across Australia. National consultation on the proposed outcomes of this work commenced in 2016-17. SA Health coordinated two workshops in SA in 2017, involving local government, training organisations and food service and retail industry representatives. Feedback was also sought via an online survey after the workshops.

The workshop discussed possible food safety management practices in South Australia that will:

  • reduce foodborne illness by ensuring food is safe
  • target food safety risk in a cost-effective manner
  • be consistent with international best practice.

The views of stakeholders were sought on a range of new measures that have the potential to have an impact on food safety outcomes in the food service and related retail sectors. The range of measures will likely contain both regulatory and non-regulatory tools and also initiatives to enhance food safety culture in the food business sectors.

Further information

For further information please contact Food and Controlled Drugs Branch at