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Guidelines for Food and Drinks Supplied at Sport

Like their sporting heroes, whilst engaging in sports children can learn valuable messages about the role food plays to perform at their best both in their sport and every day living. Regardless of if they are just starting out with lessons, playing sport to be with friends or in training to be an athlete, this is a valuable opportunity to develop lifelong lessons for their health in the future.

Guidelines for Sporting and Recreational Clubs and Associations

The A Better Choice Food and Drink Supply Strategy for Queensland Sport and Recreation Facilities aims to create a better balance in the availability and promotion of healthier food and drink options in sport settings across Queensland. The strategy applies to all Queensland sport and recreation clubs and facilities, recommending organisations make small achievable changes across four areas: healthy drinks, healthy snacks, healthier meals and options beyond the menu.

Clubs and facilities introducing the strategy can access the tools and resources they need to give their members, players and visitors healthier food and drink options. Find out more and view the strategy.

Guidelines for Schools

The Smart Choices: Healthy food and drink supply strategy for Queensland schools provides guidelines for non-state schools and is a mandatory policy for Queensland’s state schools.

Developed by the Queensland Government Department of Education, the strategy applies to all school activities involving the supply of food and drinks to students. This includes all sport-related activities such as swim clubs operated by a P&C Association, school sports carnivals, fundraising BBQs and rewards for participation.

The strategy utilises a traffic light system where foods are rated as Green, Amber or Red based on their nutritional value. It also advises that “Red” choices should be limited to two occasions per term, across the whole school.

Guidelines: Food Safety at Sporting Events

Food safety must always be a priority whenever food is supplied at sporting events for children or any members of our community.

You may be providing food for a simple BBQ, a salad bar, a food stall or operating a canteen. Regardless of the type of operation where food is being served, and even regardless of the size of the location or who is serving the food, there is one thing in common – a responsibility to produce and serve safe food.

Non-Profit Sports Clubs & Associations and Independent Schools

As a non-profit organisation, depending on the nature and frequency of the food services you provide, you may be required to have a licence. Some activities will be exempt, however individual councils may still have notification and inspection requirements. Regardless of if you require a licence, you are still required to comply with Queensland’s Food Act 2006 and the Food Safety Standards to ensure the supply of safe and suitable food.

Example activities that do not require a licence, but may still have notification and inspection requirements, include:

  • Salad bars and BBQs where food is being consumed immediately after thorough cooking.
  • A coffee and cake stall.
  • Breakfast bars serving low-risk items like toast, cereal and fruit.
  • A food stall supplying only pre-packaged products, re-heated or prepared to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Any food staff where only non-potential hazardous foods are being served.

Example activities where a licence may be required:

  • A canteen serving meals prepared on site.
  • A club operating a restaurant or offering catering at their venue.

Organisations must contact their local council to inform them of the food activites operating and to access further information.

State School and other State Government Facilities

Where food and drinks are served by state government food services at state goverenment facilities, there are no food business licensing requirements and activities are exempt from the Food Act 2006. However, these operations must still ensure food safety practises and conditions are consistent with those described in the Food Act 2006 and Food Safety Standards to ensure the supply of safe and suitable food.

Example exempt activities include:

  • State school canteens serving food to students.
  • P&C-managed swim club canteens.
  • School fundraising activities like café stalls and BBQs.
  • School sports day food stalls operated by members of the school community.

Example activities where council should be notified or a license may be required:

  • Any of the above activities conducted off state school grounds.
  • Contracted food stall operators, mobile food businesses and caterers operating on school or other state government premises.

Schools can contact their nearest Queensland Health Environmental Health Unit to discuss their upcoming event or the Queensland Association of School Tuckshop for further information.

Privately Operated Sports Facilities

Businesses operating in privately owned or leased sporting facilities may be required to have a licence. Businesses must contact their local council to inform them of the food activities operating and to access further information.

Safe Food Handling

All food handlers, which is anyone who handles food or surfaces likely to be in contact with food, have a responsibility to produce and serve safe food. All food handlers should also have the necessary skills or knowledge to fulfil their duties. For example, a volunteer preparing a meat dish in a canteen should know what temperature the cooked items must be stored at for serving.

What can your committee do?

  • Contact your local council or Queensland Health Environmental Health Unit to disucss your food operations and any licensing or inspection requirements.
  • Arrange for managers, supervisors or food handlers to attend food safety training sessions.
  • Develop a club or school policy to ensure food handlers are orientated to food safety procedures before all events.
  • Establish procedures to ensure policies are implemented routinely at your club and orientate new committee members to both policies and procedures.
  • Invest in, apply for grants or budget for equipment and food facility fit outs that enable safe production of healthy foods and compliance with standards.
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