Food service to vulnerable persons

Food Safety Programs for Food Service to Vulnerable Persons Standard 3.3.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) (external site) outlines the requirement for food businesses that process or serve food to vulnerable populations to implement a documented and audited food safety program (FSP). This requirement came into force in October 2008.

Vulnerable people are defined within Standard 3.3.1 in terms of the facility in which they are cared for or as clients of a delivered meals organisation.

The facilities listed in the standard include:

  • hospital facilities including acute care, psychiatric, hospice, chemotherapy and renal dialysis facilities.
  • aged care facilities, including nursing homes, respite care, same-day aged care and low care aged care facilities.
  • child care facilities, including long day care, occasional care and employer-sponsored child care for children up to 4 where the facility is not a private residential dwelling.

Standard 3.3.1 only applies to facilities that serve potentially hazardous foods. A food business to which Standard 3.3.1 applies must have a FSP that complies with Standard 3.2.1 – Food safety programs.

Standard 3.2.1 – Food safety programs

An FSP is defined as a written document that systematically identifies the risks present in the food handling operations of a food business and provides for the control, monitoring and regular review of those risks in order to ensure food safety.

The purpose of Standard 3.2.1 is to detail what an FSP must contain when a food business is required to implement an FSP.

A FSP must be audited by a regulatory food safety auditor approved under the Food Act 2008 (external site)
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