Food handlers

Who is a food handler?

A food handler is defined in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (external site) as a person who directly engages in the handling of food, or who handles surfaces likely to come into contact with food, for a food business.

What Standards apply to food handlers?

Under the Food Act 2008 (the Act) (external site), food premises in Western Australia must comply with the Code.

The Code sets out the Standards which mandate the outcome requirements for the production and sale of safe and suitable food in Australia.

Specifically Standards 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 apply to food handlers in Australia and set out the requirements for compliance.

Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements

This Standard outlines the process control requirements for food handling including the receipt, storage, processing, display, packaging, distribution, disposal and recall of food.

It also outlines:

  • the required skills and knowledge of food handlers and their supervisors
  • the health and hygiene standards that must be met by food handlers
  • the cleaning, sanitising, and maintenance of premises and equipment.

Standard 3.2.3 Food Premises and Equipment Standard 3.2.3

This Standard outlines the requirements for the layout of a food business premises to, where possible, minimise the opportunities for food contamination. Compliance with this standard by a food business will facilitate compliance Standard 3.2.2.


Food Standards Australia New Zealand (external site) provides a number of consumer and technical documents that offer guidance and information on how to interpret the Standards contained within the Code.

Please refer to the Food Safety Standards fact sheets (external site) for more information on:

  • food handling and skills knowledge
  • health and hygiene responsibilities of food handlers
  • health and hygiene responsibilities of food businesses
  • receiving food safely
  • food recall systems for unsafe food.

Safe Food Australia – A Guide to the Food Safety Standards (external site) is another resource which accompanies the Code.

The WA Department of Health has also provided Guidelines for the exclusion from work due to gastroenteritis (PDF 350KB).

More information

For more information phone the Food Unit on 9222 2000.

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Public Health