Food safety policies and procedures are essential to ensure students are provided with food that is safe to consume. Tuckshops within private schools are generally required to hold a food licence with their local council if they are to prepare any items on site, with supporting policies and procedures documented. Every school food service should have a food safety plan. A private school’s food safety plan will to be audited by the local council.
State schools will not usually be audited however it is still best practice to have a food safety plan in place. Download this helpful guide from Queensland Health which explains the exemptions and how to manage food safety in a non profit organisation.
For support on food safety you can contact the local Queensland Public Health Unit and Environmental Health Officer. Queensland Health has developed a useful tool for developing a Food Safety Program with numerous templates included.
Our member content below includes information on preparing a food safety plan, orientating staff and volunteers to food safety, cleaning, developing templates and the use of home baked items. Those requiring further support can attend a QAST Food Safety Supervisor Course.
People who have an allergy can become sick when they come into contact with things that are harmless to most people. The most common food allergens are sesame, milk, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, eggs, seafood, soy and lupin, but you can be allergic to many different foods. The latest advice is for schools and tuckshops to be ‘allergy aware’ rather than claiming they are ‘nut/egg/gluten free’, as this is very difficult to manage. It is always helpful to have a clear conversation with parents of students with allergies to discuss their needs, your processes for managing special orders and what could be offered by the tuckshop.
There is lots of information and training available from ASCIA and a canteen guide from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia.
You can also refer to the Anaphylaxis guidelines for Queensland state schools.
It is important to ensure all produce grown and raised in school kitchen gardens is fit for consumption and maintains food quality. If your school/tuckshop uses eggs raised in its kitchen garden click here for more information.
Food Safety for Fundraising Events
Queensland Health has produced this informative pocket guide to assist non- profit groups in running fundraising events that are food safe.
- Anaphylaxis guidelines for Queensland state schools
- ASCIA guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools, pre-schools and childcare: 2015 update
- Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia
- Safe Food Queensland: Eggs & Egg Products
- Rockmelon safety for food businesses