Unit of competency details

SITXFSA002A - Develop and implement a food safety program (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITXFSA401 - Develop and implement a food safety programPrerequisite removed. Minor adjustments to expression of content to streamline and improve unit. Wording adjusted to better reflect regulatory requirements. 17/Jan/2013
Supersedes THHS2CC3B - Develop a food safety program 31/Dec/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110111 Food Hygiene 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110111 Food Hygiene 14/Dec/2009 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop, implement and evaluate a food safety program for a range of service industry operations where food is stored, prepared, displayed, served and disposed of. It requires the ability to determine the specific program requirements for an organisation and prepare policies and procedures for other personnel to follow.

This unit is one of three hierarchical units describing varying levels of participation in food safety processes:

  • SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures
  • SITXFSA001A Implement food safety procedures
  • SITXFSA002A Develop and implement a food safety program.

Food safety is nationally legislated by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 which provides for the operation of a statutory authority known as Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) developed by this authority contains an individual standard for the development of food safety programs. This unit of competency complies with the legislative requirements for food safety and the development of a food safety program as outlined in the Code.

The legislative requirement for a business to develop a program, along with training and certification requirements, differs across state and territory governments.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit has application to hospitality, commercial catering and retail venues where food is stored, prepared, displayed, served and disposed of, such as any venue operating a permanent or temporary kitchen or smaller food preparation area. It applies to restaurants, cafes, clubs, hotels, attractions, events and conference venues, fast food restaurants, retail food outlets such as sandwich shops and food court outlets. It would apply to tour operators involved in the preparation and service of food at temporary sites.

Other industries will need to access industry-specific food safety units of competency.

A food safety program would normally be based on the hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) method but this unit can apply to other food safety systems.

The development and implementation of a food safety program requires the application of significant planning, organisational and contingency management skills. This role is generally undertaken by senior personnel who operate autonomously, and who are responsible for making strategic decisions on establishing and monitoring risk control systems for food-related hazards. Programs are developed by such people as chefs, kitchen managers, catering managers, fast food store managers and owner-operators of small business catering operations or retail food outlets.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite unit:

  • SITXFSA001A Implement food safety procedures.

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Evaluate organisation requirements for the food safety program.


Evaluate the characteristics of the organisation .


Examine all food handling operations and processes and identify potential or existing food hazards .


Identify all critical control points  in the food preparation system where food hazards can be controlled.


Identify product suppliers and determine the quality assurance specifications that relate to foodstuffs supplied.


Evaluate existing product specifications covering all food items prepared and sold.


Evaluate existing policies , procedures  and monitoring practices, including record keeping, and assess the need for change.


Develop a food safety program to control hazards.


Design a food safety program to suit the characteristics and needs of the organisation, in consultation with appropriate colleagues and stakeholders.


Ensure that the food safety program complies with regulatory requirements and standards.


Develop food production flow charts to document the critical control points for the ongoing control of food hazards.


Establish and document methods of food hazard control for each critical point.


Develop food safety policies and procedures for food hazard control.


Develop procedures for the systematic monitoring of controls  and establish a recording system to document the monitoring.


Develop procedures for implementing corrective actions when hazards are found not to be under control.


Develop or modify and record product specifications covering all food items prepared and sold.


Identify training needs and develop a training plan or program based on needs.


Develop a schedule for regular review of the food safety program.


Set out the food safety program, including all policies and procedures, in a clearly articulated written document and provide to regulatory authorities as required.


Implement the food safety program.


Communicate food safety programs, policies, procedures and product specifications to colleagues in the workplace and ensure display of appropriate signage and access to information.


Organise appropriate training and mentoring related to the food safety program.


Monitor operational activities to ensure that policies and procedures for hazard control, monitoring and documentation are consistently followed by all employees.


Manage the response to incidents where food hazards are found not to be under control  and oversee the implementation of corrective action procedures.


Make swift amendments to any practices that led to the food safety breach, and document, communicate and implement changes.


Maintain all documents that relate to the management of the food safety program , monitor performance and adjust the program accordingly.


Participate in food safety audit.


Ensure that the food safety program is audited by a food safety auditor or compliance inspector at the auditing frequency applicable to the business and according to legislative requirements.


Participate in any inspections of the premises or documents that relate to food safety management and provide assistance to the food auditor or compliance inspector.


Retain all records of food audits according to legislative requirements.


Evaluate and revise the food safety program.


Conduct a regularly scheduled review of the food safety program in consultation with colleagues to ensure its adequacy.


Carry out tests and measures to validate required food safety controls.


Review policies, procedures, product specifications, monitoring systems and all record keeping methods, identify required changes and incorporate amendments.


Prepare an updated food safety program, including all current policies, procedures, product specifications and monitoring documents, in a clearly articulated written document and provide to regulatory authorities as required.


Communicate changes to the food safety program to all employees and ensure that they are incorporated into the production system as scheduled.


Identify the need for additional training based on changes to food safety practices.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • literacy skills to read and interpret sometimes complex materials describing regulatory requirements relating to food safety
  • high-level literacy skills to develop and write comprehensive food safety programs inclusive of detailed yet easily accessible policies, procedures, product specifications, monitoring documents and flow charts, including formats to suit special needs
  • communication skills to consult on and review food safety program, provide information to colleagues, and to question and listen in order to determine and clarify requirements
  • critical thinking skills to allow for a rational and logical evaluation of the food storage preparation, display, storage and service areas, and to identify hazards, critical control points and determine suitable control measures.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • components of food safety programs as specified and required by food safety regulators and under national codes or standards for food safety
  • components of policies, procedures, product specifications and monitoring documents
  • options for the structure and implementation of a food safety program, including the use of the HACCP method as the basis
  • consultative and communication mechanisms used by organisations to develop and implement procedural systems
  • understanding of federal, and state or territory food safety legislative compliance requirements, contents of national codes and standards that underpin regulatory requirements, and local government food safety regulations and inspection regimes
  • regulatory requirements for food safety audits
  • HACCP principles, concepts, procedures and processes
  • techniques for identifying hazards and critical control points
  • principles and methods of food storage, production, and display and service for the industry sector and food business
  • main types of safety hazards and contamination found in food handled by the industry sector and food business
  • conditions for development of microbiological contamination for the food types handled by the industry sector and food business
  • principles and methods of personal hygiene and safe food handling practices
  • acceptable control methods for identified food hazards, especially time and temperature controls used in the storage, preparation, display and service of food.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • ability to develop, implement, monitor, evaluate and make ongoing improvements to a complete food safety program for a given service industry operation and in line with regulatory requirements
  • development and documentation of a comprehensive food safety program inclusive of policies, procedures, product specifications and monitoring documents
  • knowledge of food safety systems and options suitable for a service industry food preparation organisation
  • project or work activities conducted over a period of time so that establishing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing a food safety program can be assessed.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to a fully equipped industry-realistic food preparation environment such as a commercial kitchen, catering production line, and food preparation area of a food outlet using the full range of equipment currently used in the service industries to store, prepare, display and serve food
  • access to current regulatory documents distributed by key federal, state or territory, and local government agencies, such as plain English legislative publications, codes and standards outlining food safety plan content requirements
  • involvement and interaction with a food preparation team so that communication and monitoring actions can be implemented.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess the practical skills and knowledge required to develop and implement a food safety program. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • review of a completed food safety program inclusive of policies, procedures and product specifications developed by the candidate
  • case studies to assess ability to react to incidents where hazards have not been controlled
  • case studies to assess ability to develop programs to meet differing workplace needs
  • activities conducted in conjunction with industry to allow the candidate to develop systems for a real workplace
  • written and oral questioning or interview to test knowledge of the regulatory requirements and knowledge of food safety systems, such as HACCP
  • written or oral questions about chosen systems and reasons for selection
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SITHCCC026A Establish and maintain quality control of food
  • SITHCCC037C Manage facilities associated with commercial catering contracts
  • SITHCCC038A Plan the catering for an event or function.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Characteristics of the organisation  may include:

  • size and nature of organisation
  • at risk client groups with  a higher than average risk of harm from food contamination, such as:
  • children or babies
  • pregnant women
  • aged persons
  • people with immune deficiencies or allergies
  • layout of food storage, preparation, display and service areas
  • food items prepared and sold or menu items
  • production equipment
  • facilities
  • re-thermalisation and service requirements.

Food hazards  may be:

  • anything related to food, including work practices and procedures, that have a potential to harm the health or safety of a person
  • actual or potential
  • chemical, microbiological or physical
  • any food contaminated with chemical or microbiological elements
  • foods highly susceptible to microbiological contamination
  • processes where food is vulnerable to contamination, including:
  • requirements for food to be touched by hand
  • requirements for re-thermalisation or defrosting
  • displays of food and buffets
  • working with temperatures that promote the rapid growth of micro-organisms.

Critical control points  are those where there is high risk of contamination or food spoilage, including:

  • receiving
  • storing
  • preparing
  • processing
  • displaying
  • packaging
  • serving
  • transporting
  • disposing.

Policies and procedures  may relate to:

  • food receiving, storage, preparation, display and service
  • methods of food hazard control for each critical point
  • systematic monitoring of hazard controls and record keeping
  • communication and food safety information provision
  • employee training in hygiene and food handling
  • personal hygiene and suitable dress standards
  • record maintenance
  • contingency management
  • corrective actions when hazards are found not to be under control
  • scheduled evaluation and review of food safety program
  • audit of food safety program
  • pest control
  • cleaning and sanitation
  • equipment maintenance.

Monitoring of controls  may involve:

  • food quality reviews and tests
  • bacterial swabs and counts
  • chemical tests
  • temperature tests
  • internal audit of food safety practices
  • analysis of incidents where food hazards are found not to be under control.

Incidents where food hazards are found not to be under control  may include:

  • food poisoning
  • customer complaints
  • misuse of single use items
  • stocks of out-of-date foodstuffs
  • spoilt or contaminated food
  • unclean equipment
  • existence of pests and vermin.

Documents that relate to the management of the food safety program  may include:

  • documented food safety program
  • policies, procedures and product specifications
  • records of the monitoring of hazard controls, including:
  • temperature control data
  • training logs
  • illness register
  • list of suppliers
  • any record required by local legislation
  • incident reports where food hazards are found not to be under control
  • audit reports
  • food production records.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Food Safety