There are an estimated 5.4 million cases of foodborne illnesses every year (14,800 cases per day) in Australia, with about 120 deaths.*
Sunshine Coast Council is calling on food operators to ensure they have the skills and knowledge required to provide safe food for their customers.
Community Program Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council now offered both free online and face-to-face training courses to assist food operators to provide quality, hygienic and safe food to their customers.
“If you are a food operator, then food safety is your business – it is the responsibility of a food business to ensure that all food sold is safe and suitable,” Cr McKay said.
“Council’s free food training courses provide the ideal platform to gain the required accreditation for a new food operator who handles food.
“The programs are also perfect for more experienced food handlers looking for a quick and effective refresher course.
“Be sure to book into our next face-to-face food handler training session at Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex, Fishermans Road, Maroochydore on Tuesday, June 24 from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
“These sessions are run by our qualified Environmental Health Officers who inspect all of our food premises across the region and are faced with the common issues that impact on the food industry.”
For further information or to register for the face-to-face training, visit council’s website or phone 5475 8501 or 5475 7272.
Cr McKay said, for those not able to attend the face-to-face session, council’s new online food training program provided an excellent alternative.
“The interactive, logical and easy learning format of the online course will assist you and your staff to develop the skills and knowledge required to ensure safe food for your customers and to comply with your obligations under the Food Safety Standards for Australia and New Zealand,” she said.
“The free online training program can be accessed 24 hours per day, seven days a week via council’s website. If you do not have access to a computer or the internet at work or at home, you can book a computer at one of council’s libraries.
“Participants will receive a certificate demonstrating the required accreditation when they complete the whole program in the one sitting.”
The provisions of the Queensland Food Act 2006 (Food Safety Standards) require that all persons undertaking food handling operations have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety matters (accredited or non-accredited training); and all licensable food businesses require a food safety supervisor (accredited training only).
Council undertakes regular audits of food business premises throughout the region to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code.
* Estimating Foodborne Gastroenteritis, Australia, By Gillian Hall, Martyn D. Kirk, Niels Becker, Joy E. Gregory, Leanne Unicomb, Geoffrey Millard, Russell Stafford, Karin Lalor and the OzFoodNet Working Group