Childcare Centres, are you ready for the updated Food Standard Code 3.2.2A?
Updated: Aug 24
On the 8th December 2023, the updated Food Standard Code 3.2.2A will come into effect. This legislation change does require some preparation beforehand to ensure you are ready. Let’s break down the changes for Childcare and Early Learning Centres.
Childcare Centres, you are now a Class 1 and a Category One Food Premise
Under Food Standard Code 3.2.2A, businesses that serve or handle food for vulnerable people will fall into two categories. This new category system will run concurrently with the current Class 1 & Class 2 system that is state based and relevant to your local council.
Meaning for all Childcare Centres, you will continue to be a Class 1 centre and you will also be a Category One business under Food Standard Code 3.2.2A.
This does not mean you require a new Food Safety Program, only a few updates to reflect the new changes. An external 3rd Party Food Safety annual audit will still be required. Speak to your local council for more information about your auditing requirements.
What is the Category One food Safety changes for Childcare Centres?
Now that you are a Category One Food Premise, the additional Food Safety management requirements are…
Food Safety Level 1 training for all Food handlers
As a Category One Food Business, all food handlers must be trained in Food Safety by the time the new 3.2.2A Standard comes into effect. This means all staff within your Childcare centre who are involved in food preparation and handling need to be trained.
This is more than the cook! Educators who serve breakfast to the children early in the morning or educators who help serve lunch and who hand out crackers in the evening must be trained too.
These staff require a minimum training of a Food Safety Level 1 or equivalent. With all training records to be kept on site for 3 years. The training must cover the following topics as a minimum:
Safe food handling
Understanding of food contamination
Cleaning and sanitising of food premises and equipment
This training can be an accredited Food Safety Level 1 course signed off by an RTO or a non-accredited training program either provided internally or by an external company (like us!).
We have an accredited Food Safety level 1 course (also known as Basic Food Handler). We conduct sessions each month either virtually (via Teams) or Face-to-face at our Mount Waverley offices.
We also have a non-accredited Food Safety level 1 training option as a cost-efficient option that will keep you compliant!
Food Safety Supervisor onsite at all times
From the 8th December, all Childcare centres will be required to have a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) on site or reasonably available at all times at all times to manage the food operations and handling of the centre. Businesses should nominate a Primary and Secondary FSS for each site and detail this in the Food Safety Program accordingly.
The Food Safety Supervisor certificate is now a national requirement for all Childcare centres across Australia, this is an accredited course, and the certificate is now valid for 5 years.
We conduct a Food Safety Supervisor course every month either virtually or face-to-face and we will running extra course dates for July until December to assist with centres to become compliant for the 8th December. To book into a Food Safety Supervisor course, click here
Record Keeping is critical
Under the new Food Standards Code 3.2.2A, all Category 1 food premises must be able to demonstrate that records are kept for safely receiving, storing, processing, displaying and transporting potentially hazardous food and for cleaning and sanitising.
The good news is, that as a Class 1 food premise, your current Food Safety Program within your Childcare centre is already meeting the record keeping requirements under the new standards. This change to record keeping is more to do with Class 2 food Businesses. So, keep doing what you’re doing!
The only amendment required for childcare centres is to update your Food Safety Program’s Training Matrix to ensure all staff that are trained a captured. All Training certificates for all staff must be valid and available to be viewed and accessed within your Food Safety Program.
For a simpler way to keep your records together, we have workbooks customised to match your Food Safety Program records forms. Our Workbooks simplify your daily / weekly documents to ensure nothing gets lost as well streamlines the process for staff. Every form you require to complete within a month is bound together, it’s part our practical approach to food safety! Find out more here
December 8th is not far away
Our Food Safety experts are here to help you transition to the new standards, download our fact sheet and checklist below. It’s best not to leave everything to the last minute, start training your staff soon and get your food safety program updated closer to the time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call on (03) 9560 1844 or shoot us an email.
Complete this checklist before the 8th December 2023 to remain compliant under the new standards.
Check out our next article, where we explain things further for Childcare and Early Learning Centres.