A food safety program is a documented system that identifies the food safety hazards in the handling of food in a food business and details the way the hazards will be controlled in that business.

An appropriate and well implemented food safety program can help a food business:

  • ensure food for sale is safe.
  • manage their operations better through improved record keeping and cost control.
  • demonstrate that all due diligence was exercised in the preparation and sale of food.

Food safety program eligibility

Licensable food businesses are required to have an accredited food safety program if:

  • the food business involves off-site catering.
  • the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at the premises stated in the license.
  • the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at part of the premises stated in the license to cater to 200 or more people on 12 or more occasions in any 12 month period.
  • the food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital or otherwise processes or serves potentially hazardous food to six or more vulnerable people.


1. Prepare your food safety program in accordance with the Food Safety Standards and ensure it covers your businesses processes. Templates are available on the Queensland Health website or consultants can be engaged, at a cost, to assist you.
2. The food safety program must be approved by a food safety auditor. (They will prepare a written document for submission to Council.)
3. The program must now be accredited by Council. Complete the Application for Accreditation of Food Safety Program form, submit it to Council with the fee, two copies of your food safety program as well as the ‘Written Advice’ from the food safety auditor that approved the program.
4. Council will issue a letter which will provide details on your responsibilities and the required frequency of audits.
5. You are required to ensure your Food Safety Program reflects the activities of your business.  If you change processes or other information within the program you may need to have the changes/amended program approved and accredited again.

Remember – Once your food safety program has been accredited by your local government you need to comply with the processes outlined in your program.

You are also required to:

  • keep a copy of the accredited food safety program at the premises of the food business.  This should be kept available for inspection by employees in the food business.
  • organise your first compliance audit within six months of the food safety program being accredited. The audit must be conducted by an auditor approved under the Act.
  • organise regular audits at the frequency specified by the local government that accredited the food safety program.

Further information

If you would like further information on food safety programs please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officers via

Please contact the Customer Service Centre using the Online Contact Form.

You can also contact the Customer Service Centre using one of the following methods.

Customer Service Centre

Google Map
145 Young Street,
Ayr Qld 4807
Postal AddressPO Box 974
Ayr Qld 4807
Opening hours8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (except Public Holidays)
(07) 4783 9800 – Business hours
(07) 4783 9800 – After hours (the same number)
Fax(07) 4783 9999
OnlineUse the Online Contact Form

Building Certification and Plumbing Officers

Early OpeningPlease phone (07) 4783 9942 if you need to access the Building and Plumbing Department between 7am – 8am, Monday to Friday.

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