WHS: Food Safety

Food is an important part of community life.  Specific food handling regulations exist for any food made available for consumption “by the public”.  Care should be taken to ensure appropriate procedures are followed when preparing food for sale and catering.  People responsible for food preparation – whether catering for a group supper, making scones for fundraising or cooking at a camp – should be familiar with state and local laws and regulations.

Food must be prepared, stored, distributed, served and sold in a safe and hygienic condition.  Food “given away” is subject to the same conditions.

The preparation and serving of food for trading tables, fetes, street stalls, sausage sizzles, camping events and luncheons must be in accordance with current “Food Standards Australia New Zealand” requirements. 

Any person assisting with these events becomes a food handler under the regulations and has a responsibility and legal obligation to adhere to the requirements.  A wealth of information can be found on the website foodstandards.gov.au

Congregations who obtain food from Foodbank South Australia must also apply these regulations and standards.  Foodbank SA is a not-for-profit organisation that sources donations of provisions from food companies and distributes them to welfare agencies that feed people in need.   Further details regarding this organisation can be found on their website foodbank.com.au or by contacting Foodbank SA on 8351 1136.

The use of this service may require evidence of the church’s Public Liability insurance.  A Certificate of Currency, for this purpose, can be issued by Insurance Services upon request.

Food preparation

A correct food preparation area is important.  Hall kitchens must comply with Local Government requirements for public halls, canteens etc.  In the case of food prepared at home and sold at stalls, confidence is required in the people and their domestic cooking facilities. To prevent bacteria, food must be prepared, transported and stored at correct temperatures and in a manner as to which to avoid cross contamination.

Personal hygiene

High standards of personal hygiene are vital in order to prevent food poisoning and the transmission of germs.

Labelling and packaging food

To protect and assist the consumer we strongly recommend all food offered for sale or given away should be hygienically packaged and labelled in a similar manner to the example set out below. Food allergies are quite common and ingredients should be clearly visible on the label, eg. peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, wheat, dairy, etc. (see example).

Apricot jam

Ingredients:  Apricots, Sugar,... (etc.)

Made for:                                               Church

Address:                                                         

                                                 (church address)

Date made: ____ / ____ / ____

Name of maker: __________________________

Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) have a series of Fact-sheets available on the web site www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/safety/faqsafety/pages/foodsafetyfactsheets/charitiesandcommunityorganisationsfactsheets/introductiontonewfoo1473.aspx  or copies of Fact Sheets are available on request from Insurance Services.

Other Relevant Information

  • Statutory Compliance & Property Policy, please contact Building Projects and Compliance Officer at property@sa.uca.org.au