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What is a Food Handling Certificate?

In a world where food safety and public health are of the utmost importance, proper food handling practices are paramount. As of December 2023, new requirements will be coming in regarding the handling of certain food items. This includes obtaining a Food Handler Certificate or otherwise demonstrating relevant skills and knowledge.

In this article, we’ll delve into what a Food Handling Certificate is, why it’s important, and how it contributes to maintaining food safety in Australia. Read on to learn more about the Food Handling course and accompanying certificate.

What is a Food Handling Certificate?

A Food Handling Certificate is an official document that demonstrates an individual’s understanding of proper food safety practices. As of December 8th, 2023, it’s a requirement for any person who handles unpacked food that should be refrigerated for use as a ready-to-eat food product to undergo food handling training or otherwise demonstrate they have relevant knowledge and skills in food handling activities. This short course can be completed online.

Who needs a Food Handling Certificate in Australia?

According to the Food Standards Code, the Food Handler Certificate must be held by any person who handles unpackaged refrigerated items in the process of producing ready-to-eat foods. In place of undertaking the Food Handling course and obtaining a Food Handling Certificate, a person may instead demonstrate they have the needed knowledge and skills of food safety.

On top of this, from December 8th, 2023, each relevant business will also be required to appoint at least one Food Safety Supervisor, who will need to complete an accredited Food Safety Supervisor Course.

When is a Food Handling Certificate not required?

A Food Handler Certificate isn’t always a legal requirement. For example, it’s not needed for the following situations:

  • Businesses that manufacture or wholesale food
  • Food handled as part of or for a fundraising event
  • Food businesses that are not serving or retailing food this is ready to eat and potentially hazardous – this could apply to a coffee cart that sells food that isn’t potentially hazardous, or a petrol station that sells food in original packaging

If you’re interested in learning more about whether a Food Handler Certificate is required of you or your workplace, take a look at the Food Standards Code website.

How do I get a Food Handling Certificate in Australia?

A Food Handler course is typically obtained through training programs that educate participants about the safe handling, preparation, and storage of food. These programs are designed to equip food handlers with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure public health.

Express Online Training has partnered with Streamline Training to offer access to a simple Food Handling Certificate online. Streamline Training is a Registered Training Organisation, providing training in a number of different areas.

How long does a Food Handler course take?

A basic Food Handler Certificate completed through Streamline Training should take around 2 hours to complete. This course is fully online, so you can complete it from your own home or other workspace, and don’t need to attend an in-person classroom. Being online, this multiple choice course is available 24/7, allowing you to work on it at a time that’s suitable for your schedule. It also works on all devices, and can be completed on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be issued with a physical Statement of Completion.

How long will I have to complete the Food Handler course?

You’ll have 3 months from the time of your enrolment to complete the Food Handler course with Streamline Training. This means you can work at your own pace and complete the course when it’s most convenient for you.

How much is a Food Handler Certificate?

As of August 2023, The Food Handler Course Online (Australia) is available for an all-inclusive fee of $35. It can be purchased using Afterpay, which allows you to break it into 4 interest-free payments instead of one lump sum amount.

What are the prerequisite requirements of entry for a Food Handler course?

There are no prerequisite requirements of entry for a Food Handler course. This means you won’t be required to demonstrate any previous knowledge or experience in order to enrol in or complete the certificate.The Food Handler course is an entry-level unit of competency, and is suitable for anyone who requires knowledge and skills in the safe handling, preparation, and storage of food.

Benefits of obtaining a Food Handler Certificate

A Food Handling Certificate demonstrates an individual’s understanding of proper food safety practices. It provides proof that individuals are aware of their responsibilities regarding food storage and preparation. Benefits of obtaining a Food Handler Certificate include:

  • Obtaining further knowledge of food handling skills and requirements
  • Meeting the Food Standards Code requirement
  • Being able to legally work within the applicable food handling spaces

There are many benefits to obtaining a Food Handler Certificate, and it’s soon to be an essential certification for those working within the food handling sphere in Australia.

What is a Food Safety Supervisor course?

The new national standards mean each relevant business will be required to appoint at least one Food Safety Supervisor. All Food Safety Supervisors are required to complete the Food Safety Supervisor course and hold a valid SITSS00069 – Food Safety Supervision Skill Set. This certification includes both the SITXFSA005 – Use hygienic practices for food safety and SITXFSA006 – Participate in safe food handling practices units.

Which states is a Food Handler course valid in?

The Food Handler Course Online (Australia) provided by Streamline Training is valid for use in all Australian states. This means you can present it for work across any of the states or territories within the country, and it will be accepted as a valid certification.

It’s important to note that each state may have differing additional regulations for food handling, which you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of when undertaking your work.

How long is a Food Handling Certificate valid for?

While an Australian Food Handling Certificate does not have an official date of expiry, it’s recommended to refresh your knowledge of food safety practices on a regular basis. You may like to consider completing refresher courses every 3-5 years, or when significant changes have been made to the standards of the Food Standards Code. This will help you make sure you’re up to date with all the latest regulations, keeping yourself and the public safe.

A Food Handling Certificate is an official certification that demonstrates an individual’s understanding of proper food safety practices. It is required by law in Australia from December 8th, 2023 for anyone handling unpackaged refrigerated items in the process of selling ready-to-eat food products to hold a valid Food Handling Certificate

If you’re interested in obtaining this certificate, you can do so through the fast and convenient online course offered by Streamline Training. This course is fully online and can be completed at your own pace, allowing you to work on it at times convenient to your schedule.

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