Food businesses must only receive food that is safe and suitable.
You should check food on arrival for:
• Check food is at the correct (<5°C for chilled foods and -18°C for frozen) when it is received.
• Make sure there are no signs of contamination and that the packaging is not broken.
• Check the label can be clearly read and shows name, ingredients, and a use-by or best-before date.
• Check eggs to make sure they are clean, not cracked and date stamped.
• Check the food delivery vehicle is clean.
Keeping a record of the name and address of your suppliers and the food that is stored on your premises is helpful if there is a food recall, a customer alleges food poisoning or you need to contact the supplier if you reject food from a delivery.
Learn more about receiving food from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
Food and items used in the preparation of food for sale should be stored separately from food items intended for domestic use. The food and food handling equipment must be stored so it is protected from contamination in an appropriate storage area. It is not recommended that foods for commercial purposes be stored in a garage or shed unless these areas are appropriately sealed and vermin proof.
Learn more about how to store food after you receive it, so that you can protect food from contamination and maintain the safety and suitability of food.
You must transport food in a way that keeps the food safe, this may include transporting it within your business (e.g. between wards or function rooms) or to another location.
When transporting food protect your food from contamination during transport for example:
- keep it covered or packaged separately
- packed to prevent damage
- away from items such as chemicals, pet food or fuel
Ensure transport vehicles are clean and in a good state of repair.
Make sure frozen food remains frozen solid and other food is kept under temperature control or meets the 2-hour/4-hour rule guide.
Learn more about transporting food from Australia New Zealand Food Standards.
Temperature control prevents the growth of food poisoning bacteria by either lowering or raising the temperature to a point where the bacteria either die or stop multiplying.
However, bacteria require certain environmental conditions for optimal growth. These are:
- temperature (between 5°C and 60°C – the temperature danger zone)
- time (bacteria double every twenty (20) minutes in the right conditions)
- pH (around 7 or neutral)
- protein (food source)
By controlling, one or more of these elements, you can control bacterial growth. Water and pH are controlled in manufactured products such as tinned, pickled or dried foods. You can easily manage time and temperature of your food.
Learn more about temperature control or download the temperature danger zone poster to display in your food business.
One of most effective ways for making sure your food stays safe is to keep a clean premises. This will help to prevent contamination in the food you prepare and sell.
You need a cleaning system for every area of your business. This includes your premises, equipment and vehicles used to transport food.
Staff responsible for cleaning and sanitising should understand:
- what needs to be cleaned
- how to use different chemicals
- how to take apart equipment such as food processors to clean and sanitise them correctly.
For more information on Cleaning and sanitising - Cleaning and Sanitising-Guide
Food labels help consumers make informed choices about what they eat. Food labels help to protect public health and safety by displaying important information such as expiry dates, ingredients, allergens, instructions for storage and use, and warning statements.
Food labelling standards are set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. This page links to information about food labels, tools to determine if your food needs a label, and to create a food label.
For more information on food labelling:
Food labelling | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)
Label Buster guide, or create your own food labels using the Label Buster web application.