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Is your Childcare 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 centre. Think of it like this, your Food Safety Program within a Childcare centre must accurately reflect all the food handling processes completed within your centre. 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 Childcare Food Safety Program compliant and up to date?
Food Safety Program within Childcare

What is a Food Safety Program?

It’s your Food Safety rule book! Your complete handbook to everything food related within the centre. 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 children safe!

Why does a Childcare centre need a Food Safety Program?

As your Childcare centre serves food to young children (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 centre, along with all your relevant record keeping documentation. It’s a big document, and a very necessary one to keep children safe and your centre compliant. 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 Childcare centres, class 1

What does it mean if your Food Safety Program is not compliant?

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.

  • Breastmilk is not labelled, stored or recorded as per the instructions in the Food Safety Program. (read more about breastmilk in childcare here)

  • Your Food Safety Program states you have a domestic dishwasher but the centre has recently purchased and installed a commercial dishwasher.

  • Your Food Safety Program lists all your fridges and freezers in the kitchen but not your bar fridges.

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 centre’s 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 centre 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.

Let’s talk about your annual Food Safety Audit in childcare

As a Class 1 Food Premise, it is mandatory for you 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 children is being done in a safe manner.

Food Safety Audits for Childcare centres

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 centre 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 centre 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 childcare centre needs accurately. Our Food Safety experts and auditors are here to help answer any questions that you may have and help you remain compliant.

The Childcare Scoop, food safety and nutrition news for Australian Childcare Industry
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