How to Choose the Right Food Safety Supervisor For Your Business

Learn how to guarantee legal compliance and customer safety
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December 5, 2023

In Australia, the appointment of a Food Safety Supervisor is essential to ensuring that your food business complies with strict food safety standards. Choosing the right individual for this role can significantly impact the safety of your customers and the success of your organisation. 

There is a lot to consider, including the candidate’s ability to implement effective food safety procedures in line with strict laws and regulations. This guide will cover the key criteria for  selecting the perfect Food Safety Supervisor for your business, as well as explore how training can improve their effectiveness.

Understanding the Importance of a Competent Food Safety Supervisor

Before we discuss the selection process, it's important to understand why having a competent Food Safety Supervisor is paramount for your business. Adherence to food safety standards is not just a legal requirement but a fundamental aspect of running a food establishment. Failure to comply can result in severe consequences, including food-borne illnesses, financial penalties, business closure, and damage to your reputation.

Compliance With FSANZ Standard 3.2.2A

Ensure that your chosen Food Safety Supervisor understands and complies with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Standard 3.2.2A, which stipulates that businesses involved in food preparation, service, or delivery must have at least one designated Food Safety Supervisor on staff.

The Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS) offers a comprehensive Food Safety Supervisor course that equips individuals with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the complexities of food safety regulations. By enrolling in this course, you ensure that your chosen Food Safety Supervisor is not only certified but also well-versed in the latest regulations outlined by Standard 3.2.2A.

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Food Safety Supervisor?

A Food Safety Supervisor is a certified individual who is responsible for training and supervision of food safety in a business. They take responsibility for the following tasks:

  1. Training and supervising staff in safe food handling.
  2. Monitoring food safety procedures.
  3. Ensuring compliance with food safety legislation.
  4. Developing and implementing a Food Safety Plan based on HACCP principles.
  5. Taking corrective actions to address food safety issues.
  6. Maintaining accurate records of food safety practices.

Food Safety Supervisors should also be prepared to resolve any internal and external issues related to food safety. This includes responding to inquiries from Food Handlers or collaborating with local authorities on matters such as inspections and food safety violations.

Who Should Be Your Food Safety Supervisor?

The first step in choosing the right Food Safety Supervisor is identifying the individual within your establishment who will take on this crucial role. It should be someone who is closely involved in the preparation, handling, and service of food. This includes roles such as restaurant owners, managers, chefs, kitchen staff, and caterers.

Consider the following factors when selecting a Food Safety Supervisor:

1. Relevance to Job Role

Choose an individual whose daily responsibilities involve handling and preparing food. This ensures that the knowledge gained from the Food Safety Supervisor course is directly applicable to their job.

2. Leadership Qualities

A Food Safety Supervisor is not just a certificate holder; they are responsible for mentoring Food Handlers, ensuring compliance, managing the Food Safety Program, and serving as the primary point of contact for food safety inquiries. Look for someone with leadership qualities.

3. Commitment to Compliance

Select an individual who understands the importance of compliance with food safety regulations. This commitment is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your business and safeguarding the well-being of your customers.

4. Communication Skills

Effective communication is key in a role that involves mentoring and managing Food Handlers. Your Food Safety Supervisor should be able to convey information clearly and ensure that the team understands and follows food safety protocols.

What Should You Look For in a Certified Food Safety Supervisor?

Once you've identified potential candidates within your establishment, the next step is to assess their suitability based on specific criteria. Here are key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

1. Certification:

Ensure that the individual has completed a certified Food Safety Supervisor course from a recognised training provider. The Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS) is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) approved to deliver such training, aligning with legislative requirements.

2. Relevant Knowledge and Skills:

The Food Safety Supervisor course covers a broad spectrum of topics, from food safety legislation to risk management. Assess whether the individual has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills in areas such as allergen management, biological contamination, cleaning and sanitising, and more.

3. Practical Application:

Look for individuals who can apply their knowledge to real-life situations. The course includes case studies and an Observer Report/Declaration section, where practical tasks are observed and reported.

4. Commitment to Continuous Learning:

Food safety regulations evolve, and it's essential that your Food Safety Supervisor stays informed about any changes. Choose someone who demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and staying updated on industry best practices.

Making Your Decision

Choosing the right Food Safety Supervisor for your business is a decision that requires careful consideration. By understanding the importance of this role, evaluating potential candidates based on relevant criteria, and ensuring compliance with Standard 3.2.2A, you set the foundation for a safer and more successful food establishment.

Benefits of Choosing the Right Food Safety Supervisor

A skilled Food Safety Supervisor can have a knock-on effect, directly and indirectly enhancing food safety practices throughout the workplace. Not only that, but their appointment will tick several other boxes in the wider context of business operations.

  1. 1. Legal compliance: Appointing a certified Food Safety Supervisor ensures that your business complies with Standard 3.2.2A.
  2. Risk mitigation: Having an effective Food Safety Supervisor in place reduces the risk of food contamination and food-borne illnesses.
  3. Knowledge transfer: A highly-trained individual will pass knowledge and expertise along to other team members.
  4. Consumer confidence: Customers are more likely to place their trust in a food business that employs a certified Food Safety Supervisor.

The Food Safety Supervisor Course

After nominating a Food Safety Supervisor, you must ensure that they have undergone adequate training in accordance with Standard 3.2.2A. The regulations require the nominated individual to participate in a Food Safety Supervisor course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Course Content

The AIFS Food Safety Supervisor course follows a government-approved curriculum covering all the key aspects of the Food Safety Supervisor role, including:

  • Understanding Food safety laws and regulations
  • Practising safe food handling and storage


Participants are assessed through the following methods:

  1. Case Studies
  2. Quizzes
  3. Reading Activity
  4. Observer Report

Statement of Attainment

After completing the course and passing the various assessment activities, students are awarded a Statement of Attainment. This document lists the units of competency that have been completed and is valid for five years.

To maintain their status as a certified Food Safety Supervisor, individuals must ensure that they retake the Food Safety Supervisor course before their current Statement of Attainment expires.

Benefits of AIFS Food Safety Supervisor Training

Be confident in the abilities of your Food Safety Supervisor by enrolling them into a user-friendly training program that has been designed in accordance with government guidelines. 

  • 24/7 online access
  • Registered Training Organisation
  • Nationally recognised Statement of Attainment
  • Industry-specific training

Register with the Australian Institute of Food Safety today and empower your team with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of food safety regulations. Remember, appointing a certified Food Safety Supervisor Protect is essential to keep your customers safe and your business compliant.

Want to learn more before enrolling? Contact us and discover all the benefits of the AIFS Food Safety Supervisor course.