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Is your Aged Care Food Safety Program compliant and up to date?

Did you know something as simple as having the wrong name listed for your Food Safety Supervisor or Director can mean your Food Safety Program is not compliant? These key pieces of information keep the document accurate and compliant within your Aged Care Home. Think of it like this, your Food Safety Program must accurately reflect all the food handling processes completed within your facility. Yes, there is more required than the correct names to make your Food Safety Program compliant, but it is one element.


Let our Food Safety Experts and Auditors explain this further…


Is your Aged Care Food Safety Program compliant and up to date?
Food Safety Program within Aged Care

What is a Food Safety Program?

It’s your Food Safety rule book! Your complete handbook to everything food related within the facility. How to handle high risk foods, hygiene standards, food allergy management, how to store food, danger temperature zones, food preparation & reheating, temperature monitoring, cleaning, waste management and more. Your Food Safety Program is your go-to book to keep residents safe!


Why does an Aged Care Home need a Food Safety Program?

As your Aged Care Home serves food to the elderly (vulnerable persons), it is considered a Class 1 food serve premise, which requires a Food Safety Program. A Food Safety Program outlines the food handling process to manage risks of potentially hazardous foods.


What makes a Food Safety Program correct?

Your Food Safety Program must accurately reflect the food handling processes within the facility, along with all your relevant record keeping documentation. A Food Safety Program will contain:

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points),

  • Food Safety Management,

  • How to store and prepare food,

  • Allergy management,

  • Cleaning and Maintenance,

  • Temperature monitoring,

  • Calibrations

  • As well as housing Staff Learning & Development Records, Daily record forms, Goods Receival forms, approved suppliers, temperature records forms and more.

Stay compliant with OSCAR Care Group's Food Safety Program for Aged Care Facilities, class 1

What does it mean if something is wrong with your food safety program?

Normally, it means your staff are not following the guidelines set out in your Food Safety Program or your Food Safety Program doesn’t reflect your food handling processes. Here are some examples for you:

  • Your Food Safety Program states food must be reheated to least 75°C, but food is only being reheated to 73°C.

  • Calibration is being completed every quarter, however your Food Safety Program and record forms state it must be done monthly.

  • You’ve added a new kitchenette but have not yet updated the Food Safety Program.


If changes need to be made, how quickly must this happen?

Your Food Safety Program should be an up to date and accurate reflection of your facilities’ Food Safety processes on any given day. Depending on what needs to be updated, it is best practise to ensure all information is updated timely and accurately, internally by your staff or with the assistance from your food safety consultant. Whether it be a change of Director or Food Safety Supervisor or the installation of a new piece of kitchen equipment, your program needs to be accurate. Your program will need to reflect any changes, particularly for your 3rd party compliance audit or scheduled council visit.


Your annual Food Safety Audit in Aged Care

As a Class 1 Food Premise, it is mandatory to have an annual 3rd party compliance audit. During this audit, you will be assessed on how accurate your food handling processes are, compared to your Food Safety Program and record forms. Depending on the severity of the discrepancies (if any), this could result in an Observation, Non-conformance, Critical Non-conformance or a Corrective Action Request on your Audit Report. The whole purpose of a Food Safety Program, record keeping and a 3rd party audit, is to ensure that the food that you are preparing and serving to vulnerable residents is being done in a safe manner.


Food Safety Audits for Aged Care

Our Top tip to ensure you’re ready for your next audit is to gather everything off our checklist and have it ready for your auditor. Download our 3rd party compliance audit checklist


Did you know…

The company that creates your Food Safety Program cannot complete your 3rd party compliance audit? The purpose of an annual 3rd party compliance audit is that it is completed by someone who is objective. They need to assess your facility and the Food Safety Program in place without any conflict of interest. Therefore, if you have an OSCAR Care Group Food Safety Program, we cannot conduct the 3rd party compliance audit for your facility or if we conduct your compliance audit, we cannot create your Food Safety Program.


Speak to our Food Safety Experts

Go into your annual food safety audit with ease, knowing your Food Safety Program handles your Aged Care needs accurately. Our Food Safety experts and auditors are here to help answer any questions that you may have and help you remain compliant.

 

 

This article is featured in the 2024 edition of The Scoop. Have you got The Scoop?



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