Unit of competency details

SITXFSA401 - Develop and implement a food safety program (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITXFSA002A - 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
Is superseded by and equivalent to SITXFSA004 - Develop and implement a food safety program• Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 02/Mar/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Jan/2013

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
SIT50312 - Diploma of HospitalityDiploma of HospitalitySuperseded1-3 
SIT40412 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial CookerySuperseded1-2 
SIT40613 - Certificate IV in Catering OperationsCertificate IV in Catering OperationsSuperseded
SIT60313 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of HospitalitySuperseded
SIT40713 - Certificate IV in PatisserieCertificate IV in PatisserieSuperseded
SIT40413 - Certificate IV in Commercial CookeryCertificate IV in Commercial CookerySuperseded
HLT43015 - Certificate IV in Allied Health AssistanceCertificate IV in Allied Health AssistanceSuperseded2-3 
SIT40513 - Certificate IV in Asian CookeryCertificate IV in Asian CookerySuperseded
SIT40512 - Certificate IV in Asian CookeryCertificate IV in Asian CookerySuperseded1-2 
HLT33215 - Certificate III in Health Support ServicesCertificate III in Health Support ServicesDeleted
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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 07/Aug/2013 
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Modification History

The version details of this endorsed unit of competency set are in the table below. The latest information is at the top.





Replaces and is equivalent to SITXFSA002A Develop and implement a food safety program.

Prerequisite removed. Minor adjustments to expression of content to streamline and improve unit. Wording adjusted to better reflect regulatory requirements.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop, implement and evaluate a food safety program for the all stages in the food production process including receipt, storage, preparation, service and disposal. It requires the ability to determine program requirements and prepare policies and procedures for other personnel to follow.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to all tourism, hospitality and catering organisations with permanent or temporary kitchen premises or smaller food preparation areas.

This includes restaurants, cafes, clubs, hotels, tour operators, attractions, function, event, exhibition and conference caterers, educational institutions, aged care facilities, correctional centres, hospitals, defence forces, cafeterias, kiosks, canteens, fast food outlets, residential caterers, in-flight and other transport caterers.

A food safety program would most commonly be based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) method but this unit can apply to other food safety systems.

It applies to senior personnel who work independently and who are responsible for making strategic decisions on establishing and monitoring risk control systems for food-related hazards. This could include chefs, kitchen managers, catering managers, fast food store managers and owner-operators of small business catering operations or retail food outlets.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Food businesses must comply with requirements contained within the Australia New Zealand Food Standards (ANZFS) Code (the Code). The Code contains a non-mandatory standard for the development of a food safety program.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

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

1. Evaluate organisational requirements for food safety program.

1.1 Evaluate organisational characteristics  that impact on food safety.

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

1.3 Identify critical control points  in food preparation system where food hazards must be controlled.

1.4 Identify product suppliers and determine quality assurance specifications for foodstuffs supplied.

1.5 Evaluate existing product specifications for food items prepared and sold.

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

2. Develop food safety program to control hazards.

2.1 Consult with stakeholders in program development.

2.2 Integrate regulatory requirements and standards into policies and procedures.

2.3 Establish and document critical control points and control methods for each point.

2.4 Develop procedures for systematic monitoring of controls  and associated record keeping.

2.5 Develop corrective action procedures for uncontrolled hazards.

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

2.7 Identify training needs and develop training program.

2.8 Develop schedule for regular review of food safety program.

2.9 Document food safety program and provide to regulatory authorities as required.

3. Implement food safety program.

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

3.2 Organise appropriate training and mentoring.

3.3 Monitor operational activities to ensure that policies and procedures are followed.

3.4 Manage response to incidents of uncontrolled food hazards  and oversee implementation of corrective action procedures.

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

3.6 Maintain food safety management documents .

4. Participate in food safety audit.

4.1 Ensure food safety program is audited as required by legislation.

4.2 Participate in food safety program audits and provide assistance to inspectors.

4.3 Retain records of food audits according to legislative requirements.

5. Evaluate and revise food safety program.

5.1 Conduct scheduled review of food safety program in consultation with colleagues.

5.2 Validate required food safety controls.

5.3 Review policies, procedures, product specifications, monitoring systems and record keeping methods, and revise as required.

5.4 Prepare and document amended food safety program and provide to regulatory authorities as required.

5.5 Communicate changes and monitor inclusion in production processes.

5.6 Identify and respond to additional training needs based on changes to food safety practices.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • consult on and review food safety program
  • provide information to colleagues
  • critical thinking skills to evaluate and respond to a range of strategic and operational factors that influence the food safety program
  • literacy skills to:
  • interpret sometimes complex materials describing regulatory requirements relating to food safety
  • develop and write comprehensive food safety programs and procedures
  • numeracy skills to work with the concepts of measurement
  • planning and organising skills to coordinate and respond to multiple and interrelated operational challenges
  • problem-solving skills to proactively identify and respond to systemic operational issues.

Required  knowledge 

  • ptions 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
  • key features of federal, state or territory and local food safety compliance requirements as they impact food safety program development, including:
  • contents of national codes and standards that underpin regulatory requirements
  • components of a food safety program, especially procedures and monitoring documents
  • local government food safety regulations and audit frequencies
  • consequences of failure to observe food safety policies and procedures
  • meaning of contaminant, contamination and potentially hazardous foods as defined by the Code
  • HACCP or other food safety system principles, procedures and processes as they apply to particular operations and different food types, including:
  • critical control points for the specific food production system and the predetermined methods of control, especially time and temperature controls used in the storage, preparation, display, service and cooking, cooling and transporting of food
  • methods of food storage, production, display, service and cooking, cooling and transporting, especially, appropriate temperature levels for each of these processes
  • main types of safety hazards and contamination
  • conditions for development of microbiological contamination
  • environmental conditions, including temperature controls, for storage
  • temperature danger zone and the two-hour and four-hour rule
  • equipment operating procedures, especially how to calibrate, use and clean a temperature probe and how to identify faults
  • choice and application of cleaning, sanitising and pest control equipment and materials
  • high risk customer groups, such as:
  • children or babies
  • pregnant women
  • aged persons
  • people with immune deficiencies or allergies.

Evidence Guide

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

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • develop and implement a complete food safety program in line with regulatory requirements, that includes:
  • policies
  • procedures
  • product specifications
  • monitoring documents
  • monitor, evaluate and make ongoing improvements to food safety program over a period of time
  • demonstrate knowledge of food safety systems and options for a service industry food preparation organisation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • an operational food preparation area or commercial kitchen with the fixtures, large and small equipment and workplace documentation defined in the Assessment Guidelines; this can be a:
  • real industry workplace
  • simulated industry environment such as a training kitchen servicing customers
  • current plain English regulatory documents distributed by the national, state, territory or local government food safety authority
  • the Code
  • current commercial food safety programs, policies and procedures used for the management of a food preparation team.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • review of a completed food safety program developed by the individual inclusive of policies, procedures and product specifications
  • use of case studies to assess ability to develop programs to meet differing workplace needs, including responding to uncontrolled hazards
  • written or oral questioning to assess knowledge of regulatory requirements and food safety systems, such as HACCP and their application to different situations
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the individual.

Guidance information for assessment 

The assessor should design integrated assessment activities to holistically assess this unit with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role, for example:

  • BSBWRT401A Write complex documents
  • SITHKOP403 Coordinate cooking operations
  • SITHKOP404 Plan catering for events or functions.

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, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Organisational characteristics  may include:

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

Food hazards  may be:

  • actual or potential
  • chemical
  • environmental
  • insects and vermin
  • microbiological:
  • bacteria
  • natural poisons
  • moulds
  • yeast
  • physical:
  • broken glass
  • metal
  • foreign objects
  • process-related where food is vulnerable to contamination:
  • displayed food
  • need for food to be touched by hand
  • re-thermalisation or defrosting
  • processes involving temperatures that promote rapid growth of micro-organisms.

Critical control points  include:

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

Policies and procedures  may relate to:

  • audit
  • cleaning and sanitation
  • communication
  • contingency management
  • corrective actions
  • equipment maintenance
  • evaluation
  • food:
  • supply
  • receiving
  • storage
  • preparation
  • display
  • service
  • disposal
  • hazards:
  • control methods for each critical point
  • corrective actions
  • systematic monitoring of hazard controls and record keeping
  • personal considerations:
  • dress
  • hygiene
  • protective equipment and clothing
  • pest control
  • record maintenance
  • training.

Monitoring of controls  may involve:

  • bacterial swabs and counts
  • checking and recording that food is stored in appropriate timeframes
  • chemical tests
  • monitoring and recording food temperatures
  • monitoring and recording temperature of cold and hot storage equipment
  • visual examination of food for quality review.

Incidents of uncontrolled food hazards  may include:

  • customer complaints
  • existence of pests and vermin
  • food not under temperature control
  • food poisoning
  • misuse of single use items
  • spoilt or contaminated food
  • stocks of out-of-date foodstuffs
  • unclean equipment.

Food safety management document s  may include:

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

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Food Safety