Health
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Foodsmart
Food

Help / Frequently Asked Questions

Help

Check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) below to see if your question is answered there. If your problem is not resolved there, call the Food Safety Hotline on 1300 364 352.

Frequently Asked Questions

FoodSmart

Food Safety in your Business

FoodSmart

Food Safety in your Business

FoodSmart Technical issues

Q: What is FoodSmart?
A:

FoodSmart is an interactive web program that helps food businesses build an appropriate Food Safety Program. FoodSmart is registered with the Department of Health and is considered an official Food Safety Program template under the Victorian Food Act.

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Q: Who should use FoodSmart?
A:

Any food retail or food service business classified as a Class 2 food businesses (with the exception of those involved in predominately meat, seafood and dairy products, such as a butcher, fishmonger, dairy or cheese-maker) can use FoodSmart to build a Food Safety Program. Local council will notify your business of its official food business classification. Class 2 food businesses are businesses that handle and sell potentially hazardous foods which need temperature control, such as restaurants, fast food outlets, pubs, caterers, delicatessens, supermarkets with delicatessens, cafes and most manufacturers.

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Q: What is a Food Safety Program?
A:

A Food Safety Program is a written plan that shows what your business is doing to manage the safety of the food you prepare, serve, manufacture and sell.

Your local council will advise you of your Food Safety Program requirements. Many business types need a Food Safety Program. There may be some exceptions to this however you will still need to speak to your local council to find out your obligations. If your business requires a Food Safety Program, you must ensure you have one that is complete and appropriate for your business activities, and that a copy is kept on the business premises. A failure to comply with these requirements is a breach of the Food Act.

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Q: Foodsmart is different to last time I used it - why?
A:

Foodsmart has been updated to include important new features:

  • shorter simpler records
  • enhanced instructions about how to handle food safely
  • updated information on allergies and labelling
  • instructions about handling raw eggs and raw egg products
  • up to date information for food vans and stalls.
This template is suitable for a range of class 2 premises, including cafes and restaurants. A business with multiple associated class 2 food premises can also use it for all their class 2 activities. For example:
  • a restaurant that also provides off site catering, or
  • a business that prepares food at a permanent site and sells it from a stall at markets.

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Q: Do I need a Food Safety Program?
A:

All food businesses that have been classified by council as Class 1 or Class 2 must have a Food Safety Program. Food businesses that have been classified by council as either a Class 3 or Class 4 do not require a Food Safety Program. For example, businesses that only handle low-risk unpackaged food or sell pre-packaged potentially hazardous foods. This may include newsagents, coffee carts, chemists, convenience and video stores. However you MUST always first speak to your local council to find out what your Food Safety Program obligations are.  

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Q: What is a Department of Health approved Food Safety Program template?
A:

A Food Safety Program template is a document that provides guidelines and advice on the food safety procedures required within specific types of food businesses. Food Safety Program templates that have been independently developed by food businesses or industry bodies MUST be assessed and approved by the DH before they can be used. A template is usually designed in a way that allows different businesses to customise it to create their own Food Safety Program. FoodSmart is a DH approved template and food businesses can use it to help maintain safe food practices on their premises.

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Q: What are the benefits of having a Food Safety Program?
A:

There are real benefits of having a Food Safety Program with most businesses seeing a saving from reducing waste and improving productivity. A Food Safety Program that is followed correctly and has accurate and fully completed records is a valuable tool for ensuring that your business maintains safe food handling practices. If your business faces legal charges resulting from food you sold which harmed your customers, a Food Safety Program can be used as evidence of your business commitment to providing safe food.

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Q: What is a Food Safety Supervisor and do I need one?
A:

All food businesses must ensure that the food they handle and sell is safe. All food businesses that have been classified as a Class 1 or Class 2 must have a Food Safety Supervisor. Your council will advise you of your Food Safety Supervisor obligations. A Food Safety Supervisor must have the food safety skills and knowledge appropriate to the food handling processes conducted at the business premise. The Food Safety Supervisor must ensure all staff members who handle food have the skills and knowledge required to keep the food they handle and sell safe for human consumption. For further information see the Food Safety Unit website at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/foodsafety/skills_knowledge/fss.htm

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Q: How do I determine what food safety skills and knowledge my staff need?
A:

The owner/manager or food safety supervisor looks at the skills and knowledge of the people working with food within the business. They then decide which workers require what training for the job they are doing, and how best to have that carried out.

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Q: Who is responsible for the Food Safety Program?
A:

The business owner/manager is responsible for the Food Safety Program and for ensuring that it is appropriate, complete and kept on the premises. Local council are responsible for administering Victorias food laws and for ensuring that a Department of Health approved Food Safety Program like FoodSmart is appropriate for the business using it.

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Q: When can I edit my food safety program?
A:

You can edit your Food Safety Program whenever you need to by adding to the Food Practices section in your Food Safety Program. Your local council may ask you to edit your Food Safety Program to meet particular practices that the standard Food Safety Program does not cover. If your business is developing a new product or making structural changes, you will need to notify your local council who may recommend that you make adjustments to your Food Safety Program.

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Q: What if I don't want a Food Safety Program?
A:

All Class 1 and Class 2 food businesses require a Food Safety Program. Businesses can choose to develop their own Food Safety Program or use a standard Food Safety Program that has been approved by the Department of Health (DH). If you choose to develop your own Food Safety Program you will require a DH approved auditor to determine that the program is adequate for your business and that it has been complied with. Businesses that use DH approved Food Safety Programs must have them assessed by council authorised officers.

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Q: What can I do to avoid food allergies?
A:

People suffering from food allergies need to be able to obtain accurate information about the food you sell and its ingredients. This is crucial in helping them know if the food contains any allergens and if they can eat it without an allergic reaction. Common allergens include nuts, eggs, fish and dairy products, although there are also other foods that can cause allergic reactions. Without medication allergenic reactions can be serious. The Support Program section of your Food Safety Program provides information about how you can deal with allergens. For additional information on food allergies see: www.allergyfacts.org.au

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Q: What is the FoodSmart email address?
A:

foodsafety@health.vic.gov.au

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Q: Ive opened the records document but its blank?
A:

I have opened the records document but its blank?

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Q: What do I do if an Error Message appears on screen and I cannot continue?
A:

Record the details of the Error message, your user name and password then save and Logout. Email these details to: foodsafety@health.vic.gov.au or call the Hotline Number on 1300 364 352. We will address the problem as quickly as possible.

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Q: Where is the login panel?
A:

Business Victoria have ceased their registration authentication services. As a result, it is no longer possible to register or log into FoodSmart. FoodSmart can still be used without registration.

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